Fig & Arugula Salad with Gorgonzola & Balsamico Vinaigrette


I’m so excited and jazzed about this brief season, of which it is their second (and last) season of the year.  I’m going to savor every brief moment of their arrival in the markets!  In Italy, a garden just isn’t a garden without a fig tree, and that goes all the way back to the times of the Roman empire.  After all figs are one of the oldest known fruits!

Most Italians are crazy, no . . . obsessed over figs.  So much so that many Italian immigrants had to bring a precious fig tree over to America with them.  Figs are quite simply Italian staples used in both sweet and savory recipes.  They have a very brief life, you must use them immediately or they will spoil . . . and that would be a very sad thing!

To enjoy figs, here is another bursting-with-brilliant-flavors salad . . . only this time the shining star of the show is the humble little fig!  These delicious and subtly sweet gems add incredibly seductive beauty to a bed of greenery in a salad.

There is so much going on in this superb salad with the creamy gorgonzola, peppery arugula, tangy balsamico vinaigrette, sweet figs, and crunchy walnuts . . . it’s like (excuse me) a fabulous symphony of flavor!  Your tastebuds are sent to gastronomic heaven.  I just love it when that happens!  This salad could easily be enlarged to a size to make it a main entree and that would be perfectly fine with me!

aren’t they just beautiful?
so exotic and provocative in appearance!
I can see why figs have been so prized throughout time!
Fig and Arugula Salad with Gorgonzola and Balsamico Vinaigrette
For the Salad
  • 6 - 8 fresh black mission figs, sliced and/or halved
  • 2 - 4 cups fresh baby arugula
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ⅓ cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
Balsamico Vinaigrette
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 - 5 Tbsp. balsamico vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ⅛ tsp. freshly cracked sea salt
  • ⅛ tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
Prepare the Salad
  1. Place the baby arugula on individual salad plates.
  2. Scatter the figs over the arugula.
  3. Sprinkle on the walnuts and the gorgonzola cheese.
  4. Drizzle with the vinaigrette or pass it around to your guests.
Prepare the Balsamico Vinaigrette
  1. Blend all ingredients.
  2. Make any adjustments necessary for your taste preferences.
  3. Add more honey, if you like your vinaigrette more sweet, or add more balsamic vinegar or dijon mustard if you like your vinaigrette more tart.




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  1. says

    Oh my gosh, Pat! I can’t believe you have been able to enjoy so many figs! I wish that there was SOME WAY that you could transport it to Colorado to stay with you! Hope your move is going smoothly!

  2. says

    You hit a home run with that salad. The combination of ingredients is perfect. My huge fig tree planted in the ground has figs on it but they don’t ever seem to ripen. Pat (above) gave me the idea about growing one in a pot when she told me about the success she’s had, so this year I planted one in a pot and I’m going to try to winter it over in the garage and move it outdoors in the spring. Pat should take a cutting of her tree to take with her!

    • says

      Oh thank you so much Linda, I could eat this salad for days without getting tired of it! I wish I could have Pat’s fig tree!!!! I can’t seem to grow anything with fruit though! I’m a veggie gardener I guess, so I have to splurge on fruit at the market!

    • says

      Debby, I’m sure that your figs in season in California are super fresh and sweeter than by the time they get over here to the East Coast! Thanks for your compliment, I really appreciate it!

  3. says

    Lucky you to be able to have fresh figs. We get imported ones here and they cost a bomb! Funny tho, I remember climbing onto a fig tree at a friend’s house when I was a kid but nobody seemed to be interested in the fruits … not even the birds! I wonder if that’s a species that’s non-edible. My first intro to figs were in fig newtons! And now I love anything figgy! This salad looks absolutely gorgeous!

    • says

      Ping, they are pricey here in the markets too, plus I have to DRIVE 50 miles to find them. I’ve never been around a fig tree because where I grew up in the Midwest it was too cold for them. S.C. is trying to introduce them to agriculture in this state, but it still gets pretty cold here in the winters. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. says

    We have a fig tree in the garden (I’m Italian…), but I don’t like the fruit very much. What can I say, I’m a strange Italian… :-)
    But all my family is crazy for them and they would really like this fantastic salad!

  5. says

    It is so true: Italians are obsessed over figs. My Dad stops the car everytime he sees a fig tree! I love them too, sweet and savoury fig treat. Your salad is a classic Italian combination of flavours…great Roz!

  6. says

    Rita, I like your father’s idea! Thanks for your compliment for verifying that this is indeed a classic combination of flavors! I’m so pleased!

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