Arugula + summer fruit = the best salad.
Last year I was obsessed with arugula and chunks of watermelon with toasted pine nuts and ribbons of fresh basil. This year, I’m all about figs and walnuts.
My college roommate, and one of my dearest friends, Caitlin, is from California, and she is always telling me that I am a California girl at heart but I just don’t know it. I don’t really believe her (I am a New Englander, born and raised!) but I do love my summer figs. And the ones we have here in New York are a little depressing compared to the perfect, ripe West Coast kind.
Nonetheless, we can make do.
What makes this salad really sing is the dressing. In keeping with my East Coast roots, I included maple syrup, which lends a smoky sweetness that pairs so well with the peppery arugula. Fig jam pumps up the fig flavor even more, and balsamic vinegar adds acidity and rounds everything out. Mayonnaise (stay with me here) acts as an emulsifier. It does its job and you won’t even know it’s there. Promise.
You can make this dressing up to three days in advance and store it in the fridge. Just let it come to room temperature and give it a good shake before serving. I used blueberries in this salad because that’s what I had on hand, but I actually think tart raspberries would be even better. Use whichever you prefer.
- 1 (5-ounce) package baby arugula
- 4 ripe figs, quartered
- 1/2 cup blueberries or raspberries
- 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise (or regular mayonnaise)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon fig jam
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- To make the salad, combine the arugula, figs, blueberries, and walnuts in a large bowl.
- To make the dressing, combine the balsamic vinegar, mayonnaise, maple syrup, fig jam, and olive oil in a small jar with a lid (like an old jam jar). Season with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Seal the jar and shake.
- Drizzle some of the dressing over the salad and serve.