You might realize that savory dishes are few and far between on this blog. The reason being that I live with my parents, so my mom cooks for me when I’m at home, and either I’m far too lazy to whip something up for myself, or I’m way too hungry to even take out a camera.
So on a rainy day when my mom wasn’t home and there was nothing in the house – no pasta or day-old rice for me to fry, and absolutely nothing to eat besides vegetables, I decided to throw together this fig salad. These figs made a brief appearance in our supermarkets a few weeks ago, and knowing how short the season for figs were, I grabbed a few of them, intending to use them in anything I could think of. After using these figs in a tart and a pizza, as well as eating them as they are, I was left with a couple of figs left, and they were fast turning soft. On that rainy day, I decided to make myself some fig salad coupled with all the other veggies I had in the fridge. I happened to be lucky and had fresh basil and rocket/arugula as well as cherry tomatoes in the fridge – leftovers from a pizza-making session the day before. 
Together with some crumbled feta, a drizzle of honey and a mixture of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, my lunch was settled. Like I said, I seldom have posts on such ‘dishes’, but I decided that the weather (post-rain) had really good light and I should definitely take a few photos of them figs, because I didn’t take any photos of the other things I made with them >.< and figs are really pretty when photographed. I have to say that these hastily taken photos of the salad do look pretty mouthwatering, even though I'm typing now after a full meal of Vietnamese pho. 

There is no fixed recipe for this salad, and neither was this taken from any particular source, but I was inspired by a fig, goat cheese and arugula flatbread by Melissa (I made this during my pizza-making session and it was so yummy that there’s no photographic evidence of it left heh).

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Fig Salad with Arugula, Basil, Cherry Tomatoes and Feta, with Balsamic Vinaigrette
There is no fixed recipe for this, but these are the portions I used for a single serving for lunch. 

1 fig, quartered or sliced
Bunch of arugula
Bunch of basil, roughly chopped
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons of feta, crumbled

2 parts balsamic vinegar to 1 part extra virgin olive oil
Drizzle of honey, if you want it sweet
Salt and pepper to taste

Method (in photos): 

Wash all your veggies/fruits well before cutting them :]

Combine the extra virgin olive oil together with balsamic vinegar, adding some salt and pepper to taste. Throw in the chiffonaded basil and combine.

After slicing and dicing the tomatoes and arugula, throw them into the vinaigrette and mix well.

Add in the figs (try not to toss the salad too much since figs are quite fragile) and crumble the feta cheese on top before consuming. Bon appetit! 

Janine’s jots: 
  • Taste: I tend to prefer my balsamic vinaigrette more balsamic-vinegary, hence the 2:1 ratio. Do stick to equal parts balsamic vinegar and EVOO for a more balanced vinaigrette. I especially loved how the sour feta cheese went together with the sweet balsamic vinegar (make sure to get a good bottle – balsamic vinegar should be more sweet than vinegary), and matched with the sweetness of the figs. I felt that the basil played an important role in adding more ‘zest’ to the salad too. The peppery arugula was a plus!
  • Texture: Absolutely loved the different textures – the softness of the figs, the crunch from the tomatoes, coupled with the arugula – YUM!
  • Serving size: I wasn’t too hungry – so the portions were enough for myself. I would think this salad will go well with a flatbread or as a delicious, tasty side to any meat dish. 
  • Modifications: You can use goat’s cheese instead of feta, or any strong-tasting cheese to match the balsamic vinegar and honey. Any other salad vegetables would go well too!
  • Would I make this again?: Definitely! Like Donna Hay would say, fast, fresh and simple! :]
PS: Call me dumb/swakoo but I never knew that figs were known as 无花果 in Mandarin. Even though I knew that 无花果s had a seedy interior, the ones the Chinese ever eat (and the ones I ever saw) were the dried ones – small brown round things, about the size of a walnut. Which was why I was super shocked when my mom told me that figs are the very same as 无花果 (when I was lamenting the fact that figs are so rare and I’ve never seen them in Singapore ever). Of course, the dried ones and the fresh ones are of different species – one is the common fig, and the other probably black mission but hey, it’s always interesting to learn something new everyday :]

11 comments

  1. I never taste a fresh fig, your dish look so tempting and sound healthy too.

  2. sotong says:

    i love balsamic vinagrette too and that’s what i use most of the time in my salads. fresh figs are unfortunately rare in this neck of the woods, and now looking at your fig salad i wish i could have some! looks yum!

  3. Ah Tze says:

    I love to dip my hard crust bread into balsamic vinagrette and it go so well for salad too! The fresh figs look so pretty in the salad bowl, am sure it will attract my attention to eat it too!

  4. Gosh! I love this quick and simple salad dish esp with the touch of fresh fig and feta. Emmm hope i still could some fresh fig in supermarket to try this out.

  5. Janine says:

    @sonia: fresh figs taste pretty good! actually very much like the dried ones just more juicy :)

    @sotong: yeah i love balsamic anything! hopefully u get to try figs again soon!

    @ah tze: thanks :)

    @ellena: i hope you get to try it out too!

  6. lena says:

    i’ve seen figs being sold here, think they are the imported ones but i never see the inside of the figs, do they taste sour? i understand what you mean talking abt the chinese figs, even that i hardly eat, usually just put some in for the soups..

  7. Jasmyne Tea says:

    I haven’t seen any figs! :( Still, nothing wrong with a simple, savoury recipe, and the colour is beautiful!

  8. daphne says:

    i love fresh figs but they are expensive too. I really like how you paired it in the salad- and the dressing. I make my balsamic EVOO dressing similar like yours as I like it w less vinegar as well. Fresh and light- perfect.

  9. Love the vibrance of the figs. Such a gorgeous salad.

  10. shaz says:

    Your salad looks super delicious. I only really got into fresh figs a couple of years ago, and i love the black ones. Esp. with prosciutto, mmmm…

  11. That’s a beautiful plate of salad! I like the combination of ingredients and looks wonderful with the fresh fig. Have a lovely day!

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