Today, we will show you how to make a flavor-packed, colorful, and nutrient-dense fig salad recipe with goat cheese. The balsamic vinaigrette and arugula, figs, onions, walnuts and goat cheese all balance one another out wonderfully.
What can we do with a bunch of figs? You can make our simple roasted figs if you are looking for an easy dessert, goat cheese stuffed figs for an easy yet fancy appetizer or make a bowl of salad like this one.
Love simple salads? Have you ever used figs in a salad? Let's create a sweet, savory, and tangy refreshing leafy salad with a handful of simple ingredients.
Why Should You Make This
This fig salad with goat cheese has very well-balanced flavors. It is hard to stop when you taste it once.
It’s a great salad to make ahead of time. But don’t add the dressing until you are ready to serve it.
It is extremely vibrant and tempting! So it can be the star of a special dinner table.
It is gluten free and vegetarian.
About The Ingredients
There are two parts in this arugula fig salad. The first is the balsamic vinaigrette and the second is the leafy green fig salad.
The dressing for this recipe is very simplistic. But its flavors are exceptionally well-balanced.
We used balsamic vinegar to add some tartness. But, if you'd like, you can also use red wine or sherry vinegar. We prefer the flavor of balsamic vinegar for this fig salad, and it pairs very well with figs.
We only use olive oil for salad dressings. It adds a rich and a tasty flavor. And finally, you can substitute the honey with maple syrup. It's equally sweet and will add some color as well.
Walnuts: You have to toast the walnuts for this recipe. You can even do so in the oven! But don't skip this step. It adds more flavor and a crunchier texture. The best substitute for walnuts is pecans or almonds.
Baby arugula leaves: This leafy green has a fresh, crisp, peppery flavor. If you aren’t a fan of this flavor, you can use baby spinach.
Fresh figs: We use Brown Turkey Figs, but you can use any type of figs like black mission figs or Kadota figs. Just don't use preserved figs! And make sure the figs are not too ripe. They should be ripe but firm enough to be sliced for the salad.
Goat cheese: It helps balance a very sweet flavor profile and enhances the natural flavors in the arugula, walnuts, and figs. If you don't like goat cheese, you can replace it. Blue cheese like Gorgonzola, Feta, Ricotta work well.
How To Make
This fresh fig arugula salad is extremely easy to make and can take less than 15 minutes. We will show you exactly how to prepare figs for salad and some wonderful variations you can try.
- Make the salad dressing. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a small jar or bowl. Once mixed, you can adjust the flavor of the dressing with vinegar or salt. Set it aside.
- Toast the walnuts. Heat a skillet over medium heat without any oil. Add the walnuts and allow them to toast for about 5 minutes. You can shake the skillet occasionally to prevent the nuts from burning. Once toasted, transfer them to a plate and allow them to cool completely. Alternatively, place them on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated oven at 350F/180C for 8 minutes.
- Assemble the fig and goat cheese salad. Toss together the walnuts, arugula, red onions, and figs. Then, drizzle your homemade dressing over the mixture.
- Finish the salad with sprinkled goat's cheese and more figs if you’d like.
This green fig salad has loads of wonderful variations. The recipe itself is very simple, which simultaneously makes it very versatile.
Use roasted figs. Many people love the fresh flavor of figs. But to make it more savory and rich, you can roast the figs inside the oven.
Use dried figs. If figs aren't in season at the moment (or they aren't sold in your area), you can use dried figs instead. Just stay away from preserved figs in syrup. Those are far too sweet for this recipe.
Add meat. Personally, we love adding prosciutto in this fig and walnut salad. Either roasted or fresh. The roasted slices will add some crispy textures. And you can break them into various-sized pieces to add more or less crunch.
Add extra fruit. Apples and dried cranberries will pair well with the current flavor profile. You don’t want to add anything that will offset the already tasty balance of flavors.
This fresh fig salad is extremely hearty, packed with nutrients, and loaded with a variety of sweet and savory flavors. It is wonderful served on its own with the dressing you made.
Because it contains quite a few filling ingredients, it can make a great light lunch or dinner.
But you can, of course, pair it with the main dish. It goes really well with almost any roasted fish meal. One of our favorite recipes to serve this salad with is whole baked sea bass. You can also look for a roasted salmon recipe.
And if you’d like to pair your fig goats cheese salad with red meat, steaks are the way to go!
As we have mentioned above, you don't have to use fresh figs. The best cooking method would be to roast them in an oven. It helps caramelize their flavors, develop a more savory undertone, and dry them out a little. You can pan-fry the fresh figs as well. But it's a little messy.
Figs go well with any type of cheese. It could be mild cheese like ricotta or cream cheese. Sharp cheeses like Gorgonzola, Parmesan, Fontina, aged Cheddar, and Goat cheese are also great options. Sweet figs bring out their unique flavors a lot better than others.
Fresh figs are surprisingly low in calories, most of which come from natural sugars. An average fresh fig (40 grams) contains 8 grams of natural sugars. Dried figs, on the other hand, contain a higher concentration of these sugars. And preserved figs are obviously almost pure sugar.
More Fig Recipes
As always: If you make this recipe, let us know what you think by rating it and leaving a comment below. And post a pic on Instagram too—tag @give_recipe so we can see!
Arugula Fig Salad With Goat Cheese
Fig salad with arugula, walnuts and goat cheese is a perfect salad that combines sweet, savory and tangy flavors.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: Mixing
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1 and ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey (or maple syrup)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup walnuts (or pecans), halved or roughly chopped
- 6 cups baby arugula
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- 6 figs, stems cut off and quarted
- 2 ounces (56g) goat cheese
- In a small jar or bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Taste and adjust vinegar or salt to your taste.
- Toast walnuts in a skillet over medium high heat, shaking the skillet occasionally for 5 minutes. Don’t add oil. Transfer onto a plate to let them cool completely.
- In a large bowl, combine walnuts, arugula, red onion and figs.
- Drizzle the dressing over them and toss well.
- Sprinkle goat cheese on the top of the salad and serve.
- Add even more figs on the top when serving if you want.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 609
- Sugar: 32.6 g
- Sodium: 734.4 mg
- Fat: 47 g
- Carbohydrates: 43.6 g
- Fiber: 8 g
- Protein: 12.9 g
- Cholesterol: 13.1 mg
Keywords: fig salad, fig goat cheese salad