Fig Salad with Arugula and Balsamic Dressing

Fig Salad with Arugula and Balsamic Dressing

This fig salad with arugula and balsamic dressing combines all my favorite flavors in one. It is packed with delicious Mediterranean ingredients that I love so much. This salad is easy to prepare, and the ingredients are so nutritious and delicious.

This is not a boring salad. If you try it, you will notice that there are different textures in every bite. You can taste the crisp arugula with the crunchy pine nuts and the creamy feta. Figs are one of my favorite fruits and they add such an interesting flavor to the salad. Their sweetness balances the acidic notes from the balsamic dressing. Overall, it is an interesting recipe that I think it is worth trying.

Fig Salad with Arugula and Balsamic Dressing

Ingredients for the Fig salad

  • quinoa – It is one of the few plant foods that contains all nine essential amino acids. This makes it an excellent source of protein. Quinoa is high on fiber, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium and many vitamins. It is also a low-calorie food that will keep you full for a long time. 
  • arugula – incredibly nutrient dense leafy green vegetable. It contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Arugula is also low in calories and a great source of fiber.
  • figs – high in fiber, calcium and antioxidants. Although, they are very sweet they actually may help regulate blood sugar. They have a type of fiber that slows down the absorption of sugar. They are an excellent prebiotic and may help with digestion.
  • pine nuts – great source of plant-based protein. High in monounsaturated fats, magnesium, fiber and vitamin B6
  • extra virgin olive oil – the healthiest fat you can consume raw. It may have benefits for the cardiovascular and nervous system.
  • feta – source of calcium and other minerals. Due to its fat content may help you feel full for longer.
Fig Salad with Arugula and Balsamic Dressing

Why should you make this fig salad

If you want to impress someone you should prepare this recipe. It is not an ordinary, everyday salad but it is so delicious. It is also easy and fast to prepare.

Figs are in season now and I can’t get enough of them. Seasonal fruits are higher in nutrients compared to those that are not in season. The climate, soil content and sun intensity contribute to its superior nutrient composition.

There are so many health benefits of consuming quinoa. It is one of the few plant foods that contains all nine essential amino acids. This makes it an excellent source of protein. Quinoa is high on fiber, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium and many vitamins. It is also a low-calorie food that will keep you full for a long time.

This recipe is gluten and grain free. It is also vegetarian. You can make it vegan if you use a vegan feta alternative.

Fig Salad with Arugula and Balsamic Dressing

How to cook the perfect quinoa?

This method will always give you the best results. Start by measuring and rinsing it. Use dry measuring cups to measure quinoa. Once you have the amount you need, transfer it into a mesh strainer and wash it under running water. Drain it well and transfer it to a pot. To one part of quinoa add two parts of water. Bring it to a boil fast and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer the quinoa uncovered until all the water is all gone. Remove the pot from the heat and cover it with a lid. Do not touch it for 5 min. This will steam the quinoa and allow it to get perfectly fluffy. Once you have the perfect quinoa you can use it to prepare breakfast bowls, salads, main dishes, or desserts.

Fig Salad with Arugula and Balsamic Dressing

Helpful tips for making this fig salad

Cool off the quinoa before adding it to the arugula. If it is still hot the leafy green vegetable will lose volume and wilt. I usually cook the quinoa ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until it is time to make the salad.

I prefer to use cow feta in brine. This is my favorite type of feta because it is creamy and milder in taste. Unfortunately, it is not easy to find. I buy it from an international store, or I order it online. You can use whatever feta you have and like. I don’t recommend using feta that is already crumbled, because it has additives and anti-caking agents.

To make the dressing I used this fig spread. I like that is sweetened only with fruit.

Stir the dressing very well. There might be some lumps from the fig preserve and the mustard.

Fig Salad with Arugula and Balsamic Dressing

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Arugula, balsamic vinegar, feta, fig preserve, figs, Mustard, olive oil, pine nuts, quinoa

Ingredients

For the dressing

  • 1 tsp fig preserve
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt

Salad ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 fresh figs sliced (or as much as you like)
  • 2 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 4 oz feta cheese

Instructions

To cook the quinoa

  • Add ⅓ cup of dry quinoa in a mesh strainer and rinse it under a running water. Then strain it well and add it in a pot with ⅔ cup of water.
  • Bring it to a boil on high and then reduce the heat to low and simmer until all of the water is gone. Then remove the pot from the heat and cover it with a lid. Keep it covered for 5 minutes. Then remove the lid and stir. Cool off before adding it to the salad.

To make the dressing

  • In a small bowl add the fig preserve, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt. Stir well and set aside.

To make the salad

  • Add the arugula in a salad bowl. Then add the cooked quinoa, sliced figs, pine nuts, feta and drizzle the dressing on top. Stir and serve right away.
Fig Salad with Arugula and Balsamic Dressing

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