Fig-Balsamic Arugula Salad

For those who haven't heard-Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. What most of you really don't know, is that the magical world of Disneyland is also a the happiest place to be gluten free. At almost all of the restaurants in the park, they have a gluten free alternative. I will go further into detail on the wonders of Disney someday in the future, but since I'm in the mood for sharing all of my favorite things; it only seemed right that I share this recipe. 

My absolute favorite place to eat is the Wine Country Trattoria located in California Adventure. While most people probably go for the delicious italian dishes or the wine tasting that they offer, I however go for the starter salad. Yup, you heard it right: a salad.
On the surface, there isn't anything to special about this dish; its simply some greens with a little garnish. The dressing though, will blow you away. A simple balsamic vinaigrette that packs an amazing blend of sweet and tart. The secret is the balsamic they use, a vinegar which, upon request they showed me last time I was there. The balsamic they use is soaked with figs, which creates that sweetness to an otherwise tart liquid. Every time I go, I wish so bad that I could eat wheat, if only to swirl some of their fresh bread into this amazing vinegar.

They do sell fig balsamic vinegar at some grocery stores, but I have yet to find one that tastes just right.
Never fear, I can make my own dressing!

Fig Balsamic Arugula Salad
Derived from The Disney Chefs, Delicious Disney, Disney Editions 2006

1 Shallot minced
1/2 tsp Fresh herbs (Basil and/or thyme)
3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
5 tbsp Olive oil
3 dried Mission Figs
pinch of salt (to taste)

1/2 cup thinly sliced fennel
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
4 cups arugula
4 cups baby greens

-In a blender or food processor, mix together shallot, herbs and vinegar. 
-Drizzle in olive oil while machine is running.
-Mix in dried figs. Season with salt to taste. (if it is too thick, go ahead and add in more olive oil 1tsp at a time)
-Toss together arugula and baby greens. Arrange fennel and red onions over greens, and top with vinaigrette. 
*If desired--top with shavings of hard goat cheese.

Serves four.

* The saga shall continue tomorrow {I know you can barely contain your excitement!}