This simple Fig Salad recipe features peppery greens, salty prosciutto, nutty quinoa, sweet grilled figs, decadent goats cheese, crunchy almonds, and a silky raspberry vinaigrette. While it might taste restaurant-level fancy, it’s actually a snap to make. I promise: you’ll absolutely love this arugula and fig salad!
Update: This article was originally published in August 2015. I made updates to the post below to include more information about this fig and arugula salad.
Hi, friends. I hope you are hungry, because you are in for a totally tasty treat! This honey glazed and grilled fig and arugula salad with goat’s cheese, quinoa, cured pork, sliced nuts and a raspberry orange vinaigrette is perfect fodder for any fancy dinner party, but is easy enough for a regular busy weeknight.
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About this fig salad recipe
This figs salad has seriously got it going on in the flavor and texture department. It is sweet, salty, nutty, peppery, meaty, fruity, crunchy, and creamy. It’s deeply satisfying and perfectly filling, but still light enough to pass as an appetizer.
What I’m trying to say is this fig goat cheese salad is all that and a bag of chips (<– Yes I just said that. #90’sRevival). In other words, this is the type of meal you will want to eat all day, every day.
Why you’ll love this fig recipe
While not everyone might share my affinity, I’m someone who simply LOVES a good salad. This salad with figs and goat cheese is all that and more!
Aside from being wickedly delicious, this recipe is also:
- Fancy Tasting But Easy-To-Make
- Ready In Just 20 Minutes
- Meal-Prep Friendly
- Made With Only 11 Ingredients
Ingredients for figs salad
As promised, you only need 11 ingredients to make this fig and goats cheese salad:
- Figs – Feel free to use any variety of fresh figs that you prefer. I’m partial to Mission and Adriatic varieties, but Brown Turkeys, Calimyrnas, and Kadotas will all work just as well.
- Olive Oil – Just your normal cooking oil is perfect here.
- Honey – For extra sweetness and a lovely caramelization on the grilled figs.
- Substitutions: Feel free to swap in maple syrup, agave nectar, or brown rice syrup instead.
- Red Quinoa – For texture, nutty flavor, and a pop of color.
- Substitutions: You’re welcome to use white, black, or tri-color quinoa instead. You can also swap in other grains like farro, barley, or wheat berries if you prefer.
- Prosciutto – This salty, thinly sliced, aged Italian ham is one of the Boy and my favorite things. It’s salty, rich, and looks beautiful on a plate!
- Substitutions: Any other thinly sliced Italian cured pork product (e.g. Serrano or Iberico ham) will work beautifully here. Beef bresaola is a great non-pork alternative. You can also use your favorite vegetarian bacon substitute, though I recommend adding it as “bacon bits” rather than large slices.
- Arugula – With a touch of pepperiness, arugula is an excellent counterpoint to the sweetness of the figs and the richness of the cheese and meat.
- Substitutions: Feel free to swap in baby arugula or watercress instead!
- Shallot – Think of shallots like red onion-lite. They’re mild flavored, but with some of the signature bite of alliums.
- Substitutions: Feel free to swap in thinly sliced red or sweet onions that have been soaked in cool water and thoroughly drained.
- Gorgonzola or Goat Cheese – For creamy, dreamy, tangy vibes.
- Substitutions: You can use crumbled blue cheese or feta cheese if you prefer. You’re also welcome to swap in your favorite vegan cheese alternative.
- Sliced Almonds – While you *can* slice your own almonds, buying them pre-sliced ensures neat edges and a prettier appearance.
- Substitutions: You’re welcome to swap in sliced hazelnuts or pistachios if you prefer.
- Orange Juice – For sweetness and extra acidity in the fig salad dressing. If possible, opt for fresh OJ — it tastes so much more delicious than the bottled kind!
- Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar – For juicy, almost port wine flavors in the vinaigrette.
- Substitutions: Feel free to use plain balsamic vinegar if that’s what you have on hand.
- Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper – For seasoning.
While I love this fresh fig salad recipe just the way it is written, there are plenty of opportunities for you to customize it to your needs. Here are a few variations to consider:
- Nut-Free – Use sunflower seeds in place of almonds, or omit them altogether.
- Pork-Free – Swap in beef bresaola for prosciutto.
- Vegetarian – Swap in your favorite vegetarian bacon product for prosciutto.
- Vegan – Follow the vegetarian instructions, then use maple syrup or agave in place of honey, and vegan cheese in place of goats cheese.
FAQs: fresh fig salad
Can I use dried figs to make salad?
Sure! They won’t look as pretty on the plate, and you might want to rehydrate them by covering them with about an inch of water for a few hours. Alternatively, you can skip the grilling step and just use the dried figs as is.
Do you eat the fig skin?
Yep! The whole fig (aside from the stem) is considered edible, so chomp right through it.
Can I serve figs to someone who has a bee allergy?
If you are serving this fresh fig salad to someone who has to carry an epipen for a bee and wasp allergy, you may want to reconsider. Figs are pollinated by wasps, and there is the potential for wasp venom and parts to be absorbed into the fruit, which can then trigger anaphylaxis in those with the allergy.
When are figs in season?
Depending on the variety, you should be able to get fresh figs in the US from about May through November.
- This yummy figs and goat cheese salad recipe will serve 4 as an appetizer or 2 as a light meal.
- It pairs beautifully with a crisp white wine or a jammy red wine.
- I like to serve this goat cheese and fig salad as an antipasti course for my Chicken with Fig Jam, Gnocchi, Shrimp Risotto, Stuffed Acorn Squash, or Bolognese.
- Or you can lean all the way into fresh fruit season and pair your figgy salad with your favorite refreshing recipes, like these Lemon Blueberry Bars and this Strawberry French Toast.
Storing this salad recipe with figs
One of the best things about this salad recipe with figs is that you can easily set yourself up for success on your meal prep day. Here’s how:
- Dressing will keep in a jar with a tight fitted lid (or container) for 7 days.
- Cooked quinoa will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Just make sure to check for any off smells, visible mold, or milky-looking liquid before serving — if any are present, toss the batch and recook it! Cooked quinoa can also be frozen for 8-10 months.
- Leftover grilled figs will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Alright, friends! I hope you figgin’ love this salad recipe with figs and goat cheese as much as we do. It’s the perfect dish for when you want to show your friends that entertaining is no fig deal when you be-leaf in yourself (and your trusty blogging sidekick 😉). Also, remember to lettuce know if you made it by rating and commenting below or tagging me in your social media posts!
More salads with fruit!
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Fresh Figs Salad
- 1 Cup Quinoa – cooked according to package directions (I use red quinoa)
- 3 oz Prosciutto – thinly sliced
- 4 Cups Arugula – rinsed and dried
- 1 small Shallot – peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 oz Crumbled Gorgonzola or Goat Cheese - or more to taste
- ¼ Cup Almonds – thinly sliced
- Fresh Cracked Black Pepper - to taste
- Prepare the Vinaigrette: In a small mason jar or a small bowl, shake or whisk (respectively) all ingredients for the vinaigrette. Let stand 10 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Shake or whisk again. Set aside.
- Grill the Figs: Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high. Brush the cut side of the figs with olive oil; season generously with salt and pepper. Place on grill, cut side down, and brush rounded side (facing you) with olive oil. Grill until just barely charred, about 2-4 minutes. Flip over and remove to a plate or clean work surface. Brush grilled side with honey. Set aside while you assemble the salad.
- Assemble the Salad: In a large bowl, toss the arugula, cooked quinoa, gorgonzola, shallots and a couple cracks of fresh black pepper with half of the vinaigrette. Arrange the prosciutto slices on serving plates. Mound half (or part) of the salad in the center of prosciutto. Scatter the figs on top. Sprinkle with almonds.
- Serve Figs Salad: Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette on top of the salad or serve it on the side for guests to help themselves. Enjoy immediately.
- Serves: TWO as Entree -or- FOUR as Appetizer.
- Vinaigrette: When making the vinaigrette, take some of the shallots from the salad. Mince them before adding them to the dressing.
- Vinaigrette storage: Dressing will keep in a jar with a tight fitted lid (or container) for 7 days.
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