True fans of The Fort know every savory entrée comes with our famous Fort salad, served with your choice of house-made dressing. What makes this salad so special? Founder of The Fort Sam’l P. Arnold loved how all the flavors and textures came together – so much so that he kept adding extras to the mix to make it the best salad there is! The last flavor delight Sam’l added was in 1999, when close foodie friend Suzanne Roser introduced him to the peppadew pepper, which has added a sweet and tangy kick to The Fort salad for the past 20 years.
Recreate our signature side by following the recipe below:
- 2 cup cubed herb bread
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/3 cup grated Parmiagiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 tbsp. raw or roasted hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 6 cups mixed fresh salad greens (mesclun)
- 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups of your favorite Fort salad dressing
- ½ cup finely diced jicama
- 12 slices tomato or 24 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 tsp. beni-shogi (kizami-shoga) red pickled ginger
- 12 pickled, hard-cooked quail eggs (sold in jars – you can also substitute chicken eggs)
- 4 to 6 peppadew peppers, diced
- 2 (6-oz.) smoked duck breast fillets, sliced ¼ inch thick (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toss the bread cubes with the olive oil. Arrange in a single layer in a baking dish. Bake for about eight minutes, until golden but not dry, then toss with the cheese. Set aside.
If you use raw pepitas, roast them in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking it periodically until they begin to pop.
To make the salad, toss the greens with the salad dressing and divide among chilled salad plates or shallow bowls. Add, in order, the jicama, pepitas, tomato, beni-shogi, quail eggs and peppadew peppers. Sprinkle the croutons on top. To make this an entrée salad, top with sliced smoked duck breast fillets.
What’s your favorite salad topping? We’d love to hear your ideas for future additions!