Fig And Goat Cheese Salad With Arugula & Frizzled Leeks
This Fig And Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula & Frizzled Leeks is so simple, and stunning. It’s perfect for a late summer, or fall meal, when fresh figs are at their peak. It pairs fresh sweet figs, rich, creamy goat cheese, peppery arugula, crunchy toasted pecans, and the surprising texture and depth of frizzled leeks.
VEGETARIAN ✓ LOW CARB ✓ KETO ✓ GLUTEN-FREE ✓
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Salads are one of my favorite things to make because they are fresh, healthy, seasonal, and beautiful. Salads showcase the diverse colors, textures, and shapes that the natural world has to offer in a given season. They come together on the plate to be as pretty as a flower arrangement. When figs are in season, they steal the show with their pleasing shape and warm, reddish-brown textural flesh.
Figs are a symbol of prosperity, fertility, and abundance. They are a good source of dietary fiber, supporting digestive health, and are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, like potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron.
Fresh Goat Cheese, (also called fresh chevre, meaning goat in French), is a soft, spreadable cheese made from goat’s milk. This is the most common type of goat cheese and is often served in a log shape. It has the mildest flavor of all of the cheeses made from goat’s milk, as it is often not aged for more than a few days. Goat cheese is lower in lactose than many other types of cheese, making it a good option for those with lactose intolerance. Its creamy texture and mild tang make it a great pairing for sweet and savory flavors.
Arugula is a distinct, peppery green which originated in the Mediterranean. It is part of the Brassica family, making it related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. It is very nutritious, high in fiber and phytochemicals, and boasts high amounts of calcium, potassium, folate, and vitamins C, K, and A.
Toasted Pecans have a deliciously rich, buttery texture and sweetness. The pecan is a nut from a particular species of hickory trees which is native to Northern Mexico and the Southern United States. Pecans are full of protein, healthy fats, and fiber, and are cholesterol-free, sodium-free, and low in carbohydrates.
Frizzled Leeks are a simple way to add a delicious, textural, interesting garnish to dishes. Threads of leeks are quickly fried to create these crispy, messy tendrils with a toasted onion taste. Get the recipe for Crispy Frizzled Leeks here.
Fig Balsamic Dressing is a wonderfully sweet and rich salad dressing. It uses fig balsamic vinegar which is made from balsamic vinegar which is aged with fresh figs. See how to make it below.
When Are Fresh Figs In Season?
Figs are in season twice domestically in the United States. Once in early summer, in the first few weeks of June, and again in later summer and fall, running from August into October.
How To Make Fig Balsamic Dressing
This Fig Balsamic Dressing is a simple mix of extra virgin olive oil, fig balsamic vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and minced shallot. Mix all the ingredients together until they are incorporated into a thick dressing. Fig balsamic vinegar can be quite sweet and intense, I mix it with a plain balsamic vinegar so as not to overpower the fresh figs, and let their fresh flavor shine through. If you do not have fig balsamic vinegar, you can substitute by using all balsamic vinegar and adding in 1 teaspoon of honey.
How To Style This Salad
The first thing to consider when styling a salad, is the role the ingredients have in the final dish. Are there stand-alone ingredients that deserve to be given their own space, like with my Peach, Tomato & Burrata Salad – or do the ingredients need to be mixed together in order to blend the flavors and create a more uniform experience, like with my Avocado, Egg & Arugula Salad With Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette.
This Fig And Goat Cheese Salad is best served in a composed style, meaning plated and arranged with purpose. First, right before serving, lightly toss the arugula with a bit of the dressing to coat, then arrange as shown above.
Tips & Tricks
Here are a few things that might help:
- Toss the arugula with a bit of the dressing first, to coat and add flavor to each bite.
- Dress the greens immediately before serving so the arugula doesn’t wilt.
- Remove the goat cheese from the fridge half an hour before serving.
- Use good quality extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Top with sea salt and a grind of black pepper.
Here are some suggested substitutions to make this salad a better fit for your palate, preferences, and diet. If you are looking for specific substitutions, let me know in the comments below!
- Fig Balsamic Vinegar Substitution: Use all balsamic and add 1 tsp. of honey,
- Cheese Alternatives: Feta, Burrata, Cambozola, Gorgonzola
- Make It Dairy Free: Omit the goat cheese.
- Make It More Keto-Friendly: Reduce the number of figs. One small fig has about 6.5 grams of net carbs.
- Pecan Alternatives: Walnuts, Pistachios.
More Salad Recipes To Try
If you make this Fig And Goat Cheese Salad be sure to leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you. And if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see!
How To Make: Fig And Goat Cheese Salad With Arugula & Frizzled Leeks
|6-8 Fresh Figs, Halved
|5 Cups Arugula
|1/2 Cup Pecans, Toasted
|4 Ounces Fresh Goat Cheese
|Frizzled Leeks To Garnish Click For The Recipe
|Fresh Ground Black Pepper
For The Fig Balsamic Dressing
|1 Tbsp. Fig Balsamic Vinegar
|2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
|1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
|1 Tbsp. Shallot, Minced