It’s fig season, my friends! Therefore, it’s the perfect time to make anything and everything out of these juicy and soul-satiating fruits.
Among all the fruits on this planet, the fig has held a very high ranking of spiritual significance for thousands of years, similar to the grape and olive. There’s something about eating them that just makes me feel so deeply connected with the human experience. Therefore, when they’re in season, I have no choice but to gobble them up in any way shape or form I possibly can.
The Spiritual Significance of Figs and the Fig Tree
According to the Buddhist religion, Siddhartha Guatama (aka BUDDAH!) gained enlightenment by sitting underneath a fig tree in deep meditation for 7 weeks. To this day, the fig tree symbolizes, wisdom, higher consciousness, compassion, awareness, and infinite potential.
In Christianity, according to the book of Deuteronomy, the fig is a symbol for the “Promise Land”, as it is considered to be one of the seven sacred species of edible plants. Similarly, the fig tree is also the third tree mentioned in the Bible, right after the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. In the New Testament, Jesus speaks in parables about fig trees.
In the Qur’an and Hadith, figs are dubbed as the “fruit of paradise”, and in Ancient Egypt, they were associated with the tree of life and the primordial Earth Mothers.
To learn more about the sacred significance of figs and fig trees, click here.
How to make an Arugula Fig Salad in a Balsamic-Fig Vinaigrette
Within just a couple of minutes, you’ll have prepared a fresh salad that is:
Combine the Salad Ingredients
This salad base is soooo easy to throw together. All it consists of is fresh arugula, juicy figs, crumbled tempeh, sliced green onions, and walnuts. Slice the figs into quarters and crumble the tempeh with your hands. I like to use raw tempeh in this recipe because it is made from fermented soybeans, and the fermentation process adds a very slight tang, which creates a really nice layer of flavor. It also has a consistency that works really well alongside its fellow salad ingredients, and it does a fantastic job absorbing the balsamic vinaigrette.
Feel free to get creative with this salad base! Add extra constituents where you see they fit, or swap the arugula for your favorite type of lettuce.
Add everything to a bowl, and begin making the dressing.
Make the Dressing
The dressing for this salad is a delightful dance of balsamic vinegar, a neutral-flavored oil (I used avocado oil!), a fig, garlic, maple syrup, thyme leaves, and a pinch of salt. Add all of these ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend for about a minute, or until the dressing is smooth and emulsified.
Pour the desired amount of dressing onto the salad and toss. That’s it!
If you do not have fresh thyme on hand, you can use dried thyme. If this is the case, blend for a slightly longer period of time to make sure the dried herb breaks up and does not create an unpleasant texture in the dressing.
I love this dressing! It pairs well with a multitude of salads, so sometimes I will make a larger batch to have ready whenever I want it. It stores well and actually tastes better after a couple of days of the flavors having time to meld!
If you plan on storing this salad for meal prepping, a dinner function, a picnic, etcetera, be sure to store the dressing separately to prevent the arugula from getting soggy. The salad by itself(without the dressing) should last for up to 5 days in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. The dressing by itself will last anywhere from 7-14 days in an air-tight container. Add the dressing immediately before serving.
Did you make this salad? If so, I’d love to hear about it!
And if you liked this recipe you might also enjoy my Spinach, Cranberry & Pear Salad with Crumbled Tempeh.
Arugula & Fig Salad in a Balsamic-Fig Vinaigrette
- Food Processor or Blender
- 2 handfuls arugula
- 4 figs, sliced
- ½ block tempeh, crumbled
- 2 tbsp walnuts
- 2 tbsp green onions, sliced
- 2½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2½ tbsp neutral oil
- 1 fig
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tbsp thyme leaves
- Pinch of salt
- Combine all the salad ingredients in one bowl.
- Place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until emulsified.
- Pour desired amount of dressing onto salad.