Here’s one of our first recipes on the blog and believe it or not, it is still one of our all-time favorite summer salads- fresh Fig and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese, Pecans and Basil tossed in a simple Balsamic Vinaigrette. (updated, original recipe 8/2011)
Say hello to one of the very first recipes on the blog, now over 10 years old! Boy does time travel fast when you are having fun! We gave this old Fig and Arugula Salad a little “refresh” with some new, updated photos this week. The recipe is still as yummy, it hopefully just looks a wee bit more appetizing! 😉
Here’s a very popular wedding salad we’ve been serving up in our catering business as of late- Fig and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese, toasted pecans, and fresh basil tossed in a maple-sweetened Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Not only is it visually beautiful, but it’s also a very simple salad to make! People seem to love this combination of flavors, and often ask for the recipe at events, so I thought I’d share it here.
It is best to make this when figs are fresh and in season -June through October.
If you are not a huge fan of goat cheese, crumbled gorgonzola is also a tasty option. Red onions add a nice bite. If you are new to peppery arugula feel free to cut it with baby spinach for a slightly milder taste. But we really prefer straight arugula.
The star of the salad truly is the fresh figs though- so try to be patient and wait until these are in season.
Why this salad works:
- The flavors and textures of this salad are so complimentary! Sweet summer figs paired with peppery arugula, soft goat cheese, toasted pecans, fresh basil leaves, and a maple- sweetened balsamic vinaigrette. So very perfect!
- This salad can be made ahead! Assemble it ahead, refrigerate, then add the dressing and toss it right before serving.
- It’s beautiful! Perfect for special gatherings.
Fig Salad Ingredients
- Figs– perfectly ripe, not too soft, not too firm.
- Arugula– we really love its peppery bite, but feel free sub spinach or half spinach.
- Pecans– toasted, or maple glazed pecans
- Red onions
- Goat Cheese
- Balsamic Vanilla Dressing
How to make Fig Arugula Salad
- If sensitive to red onions, thinly slice and soak in salted water to remove bitterness.
- Toast pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 5-6 minutes. Or Make the Maple Glazed Pecans (sooooo delicious!)
- Place arugula, pecans, drained onions, and torn basil leaves in a large bowl. (At this point you could refrigerate until serving, placing figs and goat cheese over top of the greens).
- Drizzle the dressing ingredients into the salad bowl (or feel free to mix dressing together in a small jar or bowl first) tossing the salad until all the leaves are lightly coated. Add the figs and goat cheese, and lightly toss to incorporate.
- Taste, adjust vinegar and maple to your liking, adding more if you prefer.
I hope you enjoy the fig salad, and if you make it let us know what you think in the comments below.
Hope summer is treating you well!
- 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans (or make these maple glazed pecans)
- 5 ounces baby arugula (about 6–7 cups)
- 6–8 figs, stems removed, quartered
- 10–15 basil leaves, torn
- 1/2 cup firm goat cheese, crumbled (use the kind in a log, or try gorgonzola)
Fig Salad Dressing:
If sensitive to red onions, thinly slice and soak in salted water for 15 minutes.
Toast pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 5-6 minutes.
Drizzle the dressing ingredients into the salad bowl (or feel free to mix dressing together in a small jar or bowl first) tossing the salad until all the leaves are lightly coated. Add the figs and goat cheese, and lightly toss to incorporate.
Taste, adjust vinegar and maple to your liking, adding more if you prefer.
It helps to use very cold goat cheese or chevre here- makes it much easier to crumble- so leave it the fridge until the last possible moment. You can also place it in the freezer while you prep the salad.
Feel free to swap out gorgonzola cheese for the goat cheese.
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