Emeril Lagasse’s new cookbook, Essential Emeril, is now available!

For more information about the book and to order your copy today click here.


Arugula With Ham And Blue Cheese And Fig Vinaigrette

  • Yield: 4 servings


  • Four 1/2-inch-thick slices brioche, challah, or white bread, crusts removed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced Virginia ham or prosciutto
  • 8 cups arugula, tough stems removed, washed, and patted dry
  • 8 fresh figs, stems removed and quartered
  • 6 ounces blue cheese, such as Maytag or Danish, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup fig preserves
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Toss with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the croutons on a baking sheet and bake, stirring once, until golden, about 4 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  • Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ham and cook, stirring, until crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • To make the vinaigrette, whisk the fig preserves, vinegar, shallots, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the vegetable oil. Set aside.
  • Toss the arugula with the vinaigrette in a large bowl. Divide the greens among four salad plates. Arrange the quartered figs, ham, and croutons over the greens. Sprinkle with the blue cheese and serve.