Savour the flavours of the season with this fresh fig arugula salad with blackberries, goat cheese and walnuts.
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This Fresh Fig Arugula Salad is so pretty, seriously tasty, and packed full of healthy greens, berries, nuts, cheese and FIGS!
The figs on my tiny two-year-old tree are ripening and the branches are bending over with the weight of these sweet juicy morsels. I picked enough to make this beautiful fresh fig arugula salad and some crostini for an appetizer and I’m hoarding the rest while I consider all the choices I have to use this precious fruit. Last year at this time, I made this dessert of fresh figs poached in blackberry wine so that one is high on my list of options.
If you’ve never had fresh figs before, you’re missing out on one of life’s little pleasures. Fresh figs are luscious. When you bite into their slightly chewy smooth skin, the inside bursts and fills your mouth with a delicate sweetness. While some people find the seeds in dried figs annoying, fresh figs have none of that nonsense. I love this simple appetizer (or dessert!) of Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese and Maple Walnuts.
If you’re wondering how to tell if a fig is ripe, here are some tips.
If you’re lucky enough to pick them fresh from a tree, look for the ones that are just beginning to droop from a branch. When they ripen, they get heavy with juice, and their small stem begins to bend.
If you’re buying them from your farmer’s market or a store, look for ones with smooth, unblemished skin. They should be slightly firm. Don’t choose the ones that are too soft, or too hard. Fresh figs have a short shelf life and bruise easily, so they need to be stored in the refrigerator and used within a day or two.
It’s blackberry season here too, and the bushes are so loaded this year, the berries are falling to the ground as I pick them. Blackberries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruit and their high tannin content can help to reduce intestinal inflammation. A superfood, right on our doorstep, and free!
On our way home from our hike up the mountain today, it seemed everyone had the same idea: the roadsides and fields were dotted with people, buckets in hand, picking this free fruit.
I made this salad with arugula, because I love its peppery taste and it provides a perfect contrast to sweet fruits and berries. I also added goat cheese and walnuts, but you could easily substitute your favourite cheese and nuts. I’m thinking that salty parmesan or pecorino with pecans would be a great flavour choice too.
Toss it all with a simple honey-balsamic vinaigrette just before serving and savour the tastes of summertime. I highly recommend.
- 4 cups freshly washed and dried arugula leaves
- 4 - 6 fresh figs washed, stems removed and quartered or sliced in 1/8ths
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- 1/2 cup goat cheese
- 1/2 cup walnuts
In a small jar or bowl, whisk together the Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette ingredients first to allow flavours to blend. Set aside.
- On a serving platter, arrange arugula leaves. Top with quartered figs, blackberries, and teaspoon-sized lumps of goat cheese. Sprinkle with walnuts.
- Just before serving, drizzle Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette over all.