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This fresh Fig Salad with arugula, basil, goat cheese, and pecans is perfect for late summer and early fall gatherings. Tossed with Balsamic Vanilla Vinaigrette, it is a luscious combination of flavors and textures. Video.

Here's one of our all-time favorite summer salads- Fig and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese, Pecans and Basil tossed in a simple Balsamic Vinaigrette. #figsalad #figarugulasalad

Here’s a very popular wedding salad we’ve been serving up in our catering business as of late- Fig Salad with arugula, goat cheese, toasted pecans, and fresh basil tossed in a maple-sweetened Balsamic Vanilla 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. The star of this salad truly is the fresh figs,  so try to be patient and wait until these are in season.

Fig Salad | 45-sec video

Why You’ll Love This Salad!

  • 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 Recipe Ingredients

  1. Figs – Choose perfectly ripe figs that are not too soft or too firm. Fresh figs are the star of this salad, so it’s best to wait until they are in season from June through October. Black mission figs are pretty, but any variety will work. In a pinch, you can use dried figs- slice or quarter them.
  2. Arugula – This leafy green adds a peppery bite to the salad. However, if you prefer a milder taste, you can substitute it with baby spinach or combine both.
  3. Pecans – Toasted pecans or our Maple Pecans, add a delightful crunch to the salad. You can toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant and lightly toasted, or you can make maple-glazed pecans (in the oven on a baking sheet) for a sweeter twist.
  4. Red onions – Add a tasty “bite” to the salad. If you’re sensitive to the sharpness of red onions, you can thinly slice them and soak them in salted water beforehand to remove any bitterness.
  5. Goat Cheese – Creamy and tangy goat cheese complements the other flavors in the salad. Feel free to crumble it over the salad or slice it into bite-sized pieces. Creamy Gorgonzola would taste good here too! I do not love the flavor of feta cheese here- but you do you.
  6. Balsamic Vanilla Dressing – The dressing is made with a combination of balsamic vinegar and vanilla, sweetened with maple syrup ( or honey) creating a unique flavor profile. You can drizzle the dressing directly onto the salad or mix it together in a small jar or bowl before tossing it with the other ingredients.
Here's one of our all-time favorite summer salads- Fig and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese, Pecans and Basil tossed in a simple Balsamic Vinaigrette.

FiG Salad Instructions

  1. If sensitive to red onions, thinly slice and soak in salted water to remove bitterness.
  2. 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 (so delicious!)
  3. 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).
  4. Drizzle the dressing ingredients into the salad bowl (or 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.
  5. Taste, adjust vinegar and maple to your liking, adding more if you prefer.
Here's one of our all-time favorite summer salads- Fig and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese, Pecans and Basil tossed in a simple Balsamic Vinaigrette. #figsalad #figarugulasalad

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Fig Salad with:

Health Benefits of Figs!

Figs offer a range of health benefits that make them a great addition to your diet. Here are some of the key health benefits of figs:

  1. High in Fiber: Figs are an excellent source of dietary fiber. Additionally, figs contain enzymes called ficin and bromelain, which aid in digestion by breaking down proteins and facilitating the absorption of nutrients.
  2. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Figs are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K. These nutrients play crucial roles in maintaining healthy bones, supporting muscle function, regulating blood pressure, and promoting heart health.
  3. Antioxidant Properties: Figs contain antioxidants, such as phenols and flavonoids, which help protect your body against damage from harmful free radicals. Antioxidants have been associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders.
  4. Potential Blood Sugar Control: Due to their high fiber content and natural sugars, figs have a low glycemic index. This means that they are less likely to cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, making them a suitable option for individuals with diabetes or those aiming to manage blood sugar levels.
  5. Supports Heart Health: Figs are rich in potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and maintain heart health, and lower levels of LDL cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease.
  6. Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Some studies suggest that figs possess anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce inflammation.

More salads you'll love!

Enjoy the Fig Salad and please let us know what you think of it in the comments below!

xoxo

Sylvia

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This fresh Fig Salad with arugula, basil, goat cheese, and pecans is perfect for early fall. Tossed with Balsamic Vanilla Vinaigrette, it is a luscious combination of flavors and textures. Video.

Fig Salad with Arugula & Pecans


Description

This fresh Fig Salad with arugula, basil, goat cheese, and pecans is perfect for early fall. Tossed with Balsamic Vanilla Vinaigrette, it is a luscious combination of flavors and textures. Video.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 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)
  • 68 figs, stems removed, quartered
  • 1015 basil leaves, torn
  • 1/2 cup firm goat cheese, crumbled (use the kind in a log, or try gorgonzola)

Fig Salad Dressing: 

  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  3. 12 teaspoons maple syrup
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  6. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Instructions

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.

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 overtop 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.

Serve immediately!


Notes

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 sub toasted walnuts– although I think pecans actually do taste better here!

Feel free to swap out gorgonzola cheese for the goat cheese.

 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 264
  • Sugar: 15.3 g
  • Sodium: 263 mg
  • Fat: 20.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.4 g
  • Fiber: 3.3 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Cholesterol: 5.3 mg

Keywords: fig salad, fresh fig salad, fresh fig recipes, fig arugula salad, arugula fig salad, fig and arugula salad

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Comments

  1. Made this tonight. It was delicious. Added spinach. Already had toasted pistachios on hand so used those instead of the pecans. Replaced the maple syrup with my Swerve brown sugar replacement with zero cals. Dressing was delicious. Paired this salad with a grilled boneless pork chop seasoned with a chocolate rub.

  2. Excellent. I made this for the first time tonight for guests – a huge hit and a great use for fresh figs! Didn’t change a thing.
    I also loved the trick of freezing the goat cheese log for 5 minutes before crumbling. I’ll use that from here on for a myriad of recipes that require crumbled goat cheese. Long-standing problem solved!

  3. My husband and I loved this salad. Figs are in season here in Arizona and this was super yummy.

    1. Awesome and I’m so jealous – figs don’t grow here where I live, I miss them from my California days!

  4. My husband and I loved it! I have been missing salads , cause after eating a lot of yummy fat and high carb food during Christmas holidays, this salad was a relief to my soul. I didn´t have goat cheese, so I use feta cheese and it was delicious. It´s going to be one of our favorite salads this 2022. Thanks for sharing Sylivia. God bless u.🤗

  5. Hello. I love this recipe. What can I use instead of figs? It is not fig season and I can’t find it anywhere.

      1. Great! Any suggestion on what kind of pears or apples? There are so many varieties of each, lol.

        Thank you for your response.

  6. Another 5 Star Rating for the best Chef on the Internet! This salad and dressing recipe is SO freaking good (and easy)! Last night marks the second time this week we made it. Topped it with grilled chicken and it made a great meal. Putting this salad on the dinner table at Christmas! Thank you so much Sylvia!

  7. We loved this salad, particularly the dressing. I made it out of fig season, so added pears instead and it was great. I look forward to making it again later when figs are available. 🙂

  8. Wow this looks so delectable, cant wait to try on the weekend!!
    Can i please ask what the little black pieces shown all over the salad in the pic is? Seems a lot if its pepper but gives it that really special look. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks

  9. I made this for a small Thanksgiving gathering and it was a huge hit! Everyone loved it- even people who typically do not eat salad, and even a three-year-old. It’s delicious, and we have made it multiple times since then.

  10. I was waiting until fresh figs came in season to try this and it was worth the wait! I used gorgonzola instead of goat cheese since we like the stronger flavor and I had some fig balsamic from when flavored balsamic were popular so I used that. A winner at our house and we will be making it as long as we can find fresh figs and may even try with dried once we can’t find fresh any longer. A new favorite

  11. Hello! I’m planning a menu to pair with different wines for a socially distanced girls weekend since we can’t go to restaurants and want to start with this salad. I need to make a pregnancy friendly vegetarian or pescatarian entree to follow this salad. Mid-September is the date. Any recommendations? Thank you!

  12. This salad is awesome! I was able to buy some local, organic fresh figs, so I’ve actually made this salad three times in about 9 days to make use of the figs. Absolutely wonderful combination of flavors! My husband doesn’t like goat cheese, so I used Gorgonzola instead. We both loved it. A definite “go to” recipe for when fresh figs are available in the Summer.

    1. I really like this with salmon (the Moroccan Salmon would work) or I bet the 7-Spice Chicken would be great here too!

  13. Thank you for this yummy recipe. I made it yesterday after you emailed it out in your newsletter. Two issues–I found it hard to crumble goat cheese, as I find it sticks together. Also, the volume of dressing is too much as you mention might be the case, and when you have too much, the dressing is too intense and drowns/overpowers the salad. l don’t want my expensive good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar to go to waste. May I suggest changing the quantities to 3 tablespoons each of the oil and vinegar. Also, depending on how sweet your balsamic vinegar and figs are, you don’t really need the maple syrup–I found it plenty sweet from the figs and balsamic with no maple syrup and with the additional of a half teaspoon of vanilla powder which has sugar in it. I personally found that I didn’t like the vanilla notes with the particular vinegar that I used, so I will leave it out next time. The ingredients are kind of expensive so this recipe was definitely a splurge, but I plan to make this again soon with my remaining figs and these adjustments!

    1. I wonder if it’s possible you used less arugula than I did? Sorry about that. You are right, some balsamic vinegars are sweeter than others. I will note the recipe. Thanks for the feedback, appreciated!

        1. Hi Margaret. Ok I found the problem, I had used a 7-ounce bag. Re-made the recipe last night and adjusted the recipe. Sorry about that. You were totally right, way too much dressing for 5 ounces.

          1. Without seeing your comment, I happened to make this salad again today, this time using a 7-oz bag of arugula from Trader Joe’s. That worked much better in terms of proportions to the other ingredients in my opinion–and I still found using the reduced amount of dressing works just about right with the increased volume of arugula, as long as you toss the salad well, so that very little dressing is sitting at the bottom of the bowl. I found the salad flavored well without being drowned or overpowered, though some people might want the dressing to be stronger if they’re making it for a party and want people to eat less. Please fix the listed quantity of arugula listed in your recipe.

            Also I discovered that Trader Joe’s sells already crumbled goat cheese. That was much easier/quicker to use to make the salad though it involves more plastic waste. Cheaper than Whole Foods too, although not organic.

          2. Hi – I remade the salad with less arugual and I ended up just adjusted the dressing recipe as most people have access to 5 ounce boxes of arugula.

      1. Also I discovered that Trader Joe’s sells already crumbled goat cheese. That was much easier/quicker to use to make the salad! Cheaper than Whole Foods too, although not organic.

  14. This was so delcious! My husband’s new favourite. The last time I made it, I substituted the maple syrup for local honey, as we have a lot of it right now and it was equally delicious. Thanks so much!

  15. This salad looks delish…….but im not a huge fan of goat cheese. Do you have a thought about an alternative cheese?

    1. I have made this salad many times and ALWAYS a huge success.. I have successfully used both Gorgonzola, plain goat cheese and honey goat cheese successfully.

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