Savour the flavours of the season with this fabulous fresh fig arugula salad with blackberries, goat cheese and walnuts. Fresh fig salad is a summertime treat! This post also includes tips for how to choose figs and how to tell when figs are ripe.
❤️ Why this recipe works
This Fresh Fig Arugula Salad is so pretty, seriously tasty, and packed full of healthy greens, berries, nuts, cheese and luscious figs!
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.
Where I live, wild blackberries and figs ripen at the same time, so it makes sense to pick a bucket or two of fresh berries and combine the two in this beautiful fresh fig salad.
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 they're free! Read more about the health benefits of blackberries.
When the figs on my tree are ripening and the branches are bending over with the weight of these sweet juicy morsels, one of the first recipes I make is this beautiful fresh fig arugula salad. Next up, my Honey-Roasted Fig and Burrata Crostini and then these simple Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese and Honey!
Here's your short list of ingredients for this fresh fig salad.
- baby arugula leaves: these have a slight peppery taste which contrasts beautifully with sweet figs
- fresh figs: any sweet variety. See the section below for how to choose a fig.
- fresh blackberries: fully ripe and sweet
- goat cheese: soft and creamy
- walnuts: just a few for a crunchy surprise in every bite
- a simple balsamic vinaigrette made with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and Dijon mustard
Step One - Toast the walnuts.
Arrange the chopped walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a 350°F. oven for 8 - 10 minutes, checking frequently to prevent burning. Remove them from the oven and let them cool before adding them to the salad.
Step Two - Make the balsamic dressing
Whisk the honey-balsamic vinaigrette ingredients together. You can use a small blender or just shake in a jar.
Step Three - Arrange the salad.
Arrange freshly washed and dried arugula leaves on a platter (or in individual bowls), add teaspoon-sized dollops of goat cheese, fresh blackberries and chopped toasted walnuts.
Toss this fresh fig salad with the simple honey-balsamic vinaigrette just before serving and savour the tastes of summertime!
❓FAQ's and helpful tips
Here are some tips to help you choose the best figs.
If you're lucky enough to pick figs 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 those with smooth, unblemished skin. They should be slightly firm. Avoid those 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, three at the most.
Black Mission figs are often available in markets and grocery stores. Their flesh is firm, they have a beautiful blue-purple hue and they have an intensely sweet flavour.
Brown Turkey Figs are brownish-black in colour but their interior is a pale pink. They're delicious in salads as they're not as sweet as Black Mission figs. For dessert, they're particularly delicious with one of these recipes with a honey drizzle.
Calimyrna figs are larger than Black Missions or Brown Turkey figs. Their skin is a pretty light yellowish-green. They have a distinctly pink interior which contrasts beautifully with their exterior. They're absolutely delicious straight from the tree, or cut open and drizzled with a little honey.
Desert Sun figs are similar to Calimyrna. They have green skin with beautiful pink flesh and are naturally sweet. These are the ones I use in this recipe because their colour contrasts beautifully with blackberries
Read more descriptions of fig varieties in this article.
How to store figs
This fig salad with blackberries is best the day it's made, but you can store leftovers covered in the fridge until the following day.
Try to buy figs as close as possible to the day you're planning to use them, as they have a short shelf life. Store them in a single layer in the fridge and eat them within 3 days. Don't wash them until you're ready to eat them.
🔁 Possible Variations
I made this fig salad with arugula because I love its peppery taste and it provides a perfect contrast to sweet fruits and berries. You can also substitute an arugula salad mix, or use spinach.
I added goat cheese and walnuts, but you could easily substitute your favourite cheese and nuts. Try blue cheese or gorgonzola for intense flavour! Salty parmesan or pecorino with pecans would be a great flavour choice too.
I highly recommend this fresh fig salad!
Fresh Fig Arugula Salad with Blackberries
- 4 cups arugula leaves, washed and dried
- 4 to 6 fresh figs, washed, stems removed and quartered or sliced in ⅛ths
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- ½ cup goat cheese
- ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
- coarse sea salt and pepper to taste
- Arrange the chopped walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a 350°F. oven for 8 - 10 minutes, checking frequently to prevent burning. Remove them from the oven and let them cool before adding them to the salad.
- Whisk the honey-balsamic vinaigrette ingredients together. You can use a small blender or just shake in a jar. Set aside to allow the flavours to blend.
- Arrange freshly washed and dried arugula leaves on a platter (or in individual bowls), add quartered figs, teaspoon-sized dollops of goat cheese, fresh blackberries and chopped toasted walnuts.
- Just before serving, drizzle the salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette and toss.