This fig salad with prosciutto and arugula is super easy, but delicious, and of course, always impressive.
What are figs?
They are small, pear-shaped pods, which when opened, have a very sweet, grainy textured flesh. Figs are the fruit of the ficus tree, which is native to the Middle East and Western Asia. Ficus trees have been cultivated since ancient times and they grow best in dry, sunny places. Mission figs, which grow in California, are the most widely available variety in North America.
How Do Figs Grow?
Figs are actually an inverted flower and not a fruit. The flowers grow inside the pod, maturing into the fruit. Those flowers are pollinated by tiny wasps, called fig wasps, who enter the male fig and lay their eggs. The wasp dies inside the male fig, and when the eggs hatch, the baby wasps leave, carrying pollen.
Does this sound gross? Yes, it does, but keep in mind that we don't eat the male figs, only the female ones. And as I mentioned earlier, most of the figs that we eat grow in California, and the trees are self-pollinating.
With this in mind, we must ask the next question:
Are Figs Vegan?
Whether or not vegans should eat figs is a personal choice and individual decision. Although the self-pollinating varieties of figs will not have dead wasps in them, there is no guarantee that you will not ingest one while eating figs.
Chances are if you are vegan, you aren't reading this recipe, but if you are, and would like more info about those little wasps, here it is: Figs: Are They Vegan?
Are Figs Good For You?
Figs are low in calories, high in fiber, and nutrient-dense in both their raw and their dried forms. Both raw and dried figs are excellent sources of Vitamin K, B Vitamins, manganese, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, and zinc.
The health benefits of figs increase significantly for dried figs. For example: potassium goes from 7% DV (raw) to 19% DV, calcium from 4% DV (raw) to 16% DV (dried), and iron from 2% DV (raw) to 11% DV (dried).
Raw vs Dried Figs
Aside from the nutritional differences that I noted above, both raw figs and dried figs are delicious, nutritious treats. If you can find fresh figs, by all means, they are worth it. However, dried figs are readily available at all times of the year in most locations, so they are an excellent option. You can use dried and fresh figs interchangeably in recipes.
About This Fig Salad
Figs are delicious in both sweet and savoury dishes, and their sweetness pairs beautifully with strong & salty aged cheeses, like the Parmesan that I used in this salad. Cured meats, in particular, prosciutto, are another great match. This salad covers all the flavour notes with a base of peppery arugula, some aromatic basil, and a tangy-sweet dressing of balsamic and honey.
Ready For More Hearty Salads? You Might Also Like These:
Farro, Pomegranate, Belgium Endive Salad
Salmon, Spinach Mandarin Orange Salad
Sweet Potato Quinoa Chickpea Salad
Fig Salad with Prosciutto & ArugulaPrint Pin Rate Save Recipe Recipe Saved!
- 3 cups arugula
- 1 cup basil leaves torn
- 3 oz prosciutto cut into ribbons
- 1 cup dried figs halved
- 2 oz Parmesan cheese shaved into ribbons (use a vegetable peeler)
- 3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- On a platter, arrange arugula and basil
- scatter prosciutto and figs over the greens
- top with Parmesan
- Shake vinegar, honey, and oil in a jar with a lid, or whisk together in a small bowl.
- Drizzle vinaigrette over the salad and serve immediately
Loving this salad! The pairing of figs and prosciutto is delicious, and we always have arugula on hand. It's one of our fave greens!
So happy you are liking it, Leanne!
Wow ! I learned so much about figs! I am really glad we eat the females 🙂 This salad looks delicious too !
Haha, me too Terri! Hope you love this salad!
This would be such a gorgeous salad to serve for any special meal, Colleen. It is so lovely with all of those special ingredients. I will try this soon. We love salads around here and I am always looking for new ideas. You have inspired me. ❤️👍. Many thanks for sharing. Happy holidays
Thanks so much, Denise! I'm so glad to have inspired you, and wish you a wonderful holiday season.
Katherine | Love In My Oven
How did you know I love prosciutto!? This is definitely my kind of salad, with the sweet and savory combo. I could eat this for lunch every day!!
A little bird told me, Katherine. 😉 I hope you love this salad!
I made this dish today! And as my friends also like bacon and cheese strata, they tasted it and found it amazing.
So glad you liked it Hrelate.
I love figs! I have never thought to put them in a salad. Thanks for the delicious recipe inspo!
Hi Vanessa, you are very welcome. Figs are an amazing salad ingredient.
Loreto and Nicoletta Nardelli
This salad has all the flavors we love and that are part of our culture. Sweet, salty, peppery, this salad is also so playful on the tastebuds!
Yess! What I love about this salad is the balance of flavor elements. Thank you!
What a beautiful and delicious salad! So lovely for the holiday season too - it would be a fresh dish on my holiday table!
Hi Jessica! This would indeed be a fresh addition to your holiday table. Enjoy!
I did not know the info about wasps and figs. Good to know! I love the flavor combinations in this salad!
Strange info, right, Michelle? I did not know either, until I did my research on this ingredient.
Never tried Arugula any day, but definitely need to check on this. Love the look and all the delicious combinations and dressing to making it yum.
Hi Veena, I hope that you do try arugula! It's such an amazing salad green, and I know you'll love it!
This Salad looks so Fall/Winter festive! I'm loving the use of figs in this.
Figs are such a yummy salad ingredient, Shanika. I hope you love this!
What a beautiful salad . This would be showstopping on a holiday dinner table! Can't wait to try it!
Thanks, Farah, I know that you will love it on your holiday table. Enjoy!
This looks like a great idea for my holiday dinner. Thanks!
You're so welcome, Cyndy! Enjoy this delicious salad, it's perfect for a holiday dinner.
Figs and prosciutto are really the best thing together ever! Love the taste of sweet, salty and a little tartness from the arugula in this salad!
So glad you loved it Beth, this salad really does have all of the flavour elements!
Arugula is my favourite salad green, the sweetness of fig would be wonderful with it.
I hope you give it a try, Ayngelina!