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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 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
FiG Salad Instructions
- 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 (so 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 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 the Fig Salad with:
- Butternut Squash Lasagna with Mushrooms and Sage
- Gorgonzola Chicken with Mushrooms
- Cedar Plank Salmon
- Pan-Roasted Chicken with Grapes
- Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Garlic and Sage
- Zucchini Pasta
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Some studies suggest that figs possess anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce inflammation.
Enjoy the Fig Salad and please let us know what you think of it in the comments below!
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.
- 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.
- 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