Let me tell you about these figs. I searched high and low, all over the Twin Cities, to find them! After two weeks of a citywide shortage, I finally spotted them at the Wedge Co-op. This is pretty surprising, since it is prime fig season after all, but I guess not that surprising, since I learned that figs rarely grow in the Midwest. (They can’t survive in temperatures below freezing).
So while this may be a seasonal recipe for some areas of the U.S., it’s not technically one for us Midwest folk. Regardless, this Fig and Barley Arugula Salad was still a fun recipe to make! I had never really worked with figs before.
In developing this recipe, I also learned that fresh figs are quite different than their dried counterparts. For one, they have a sweet taste and soft, chewy texture. I didn’t find the fresh ones to be as sweet at the dried ones, but I liked their mouth feel more.
Once I found a stash of figs and gave them a try, I knew I could somehow pair them with a vegetable. Arugula, with its peppery bite, sounded like a wonderful base for a fig-heavy salad. I tossed in some barley for a little extra something. Then I finished it all off with a simple balsamic vinaigrette and fresh shavings of aged parmesan.
I think you’ll find this Fig and Barley Arugula Salad to be a light, yet filling, fall dish! Serve it as a main course with shredded chicken, lentils, or soft-boiled eggs. It would also be a great addition to a holiday feast or alongside pork tenderloin for dinner.
However you serve it, remember to savor those fresh figs…because you might not find them again (at least in my case, until next year!).
Fig and Barley Arugula Salad
Fresh figs are the star of this arugula salad, topped with cooked barley, shaved parmesan, and a balsamic vinaigrette.
- 3 cups arugula
- 8 figs quartered; I used Black Mission
- 1.5 cups barley cooked
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1.5 tsp honey
- Sea salt to taste
- Aged parmesan shaved, to taste
Cook the barley according to package instructions. To save time, check out Trader Joe's 10 Minute Barley. To prepare the figs, make a thin slice off the top and bottom and quarter each one.
In a large bowl, combine the arugula, figs, and barley. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and a dash of sea salt. Pour over the salad and toss well. Serve with shaved parmesan flakes, to taste.
Add shredded chicken, lentils, or soft boiled eggs for a complete meal. Or serve alongside pork tenderloin for dinner.
I think I should make a fig pizza next, don’t you?! Be sure to pin this Fig and Barley Arugula Salad now to make later…