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September 6, 2016

Fig Couscous Salad

With arugula, walnuts, goat cheese & lemon vinaigrette, this fig couscous salad is beautiful and filling whether served as a salad or side.

With arugula, walnuts, goat cheese & lemon vinaigrette, this fig couscous salad is beautiful and filling whether served as a salad or side.

Fig Couscous SaladThere are a couple fruits that I get over-the-top excited, borderline crazy about anytime I see them at the farmer’s market or the grocery.

When I’m shopping at the market, I completely geek out over ramps in the spring and then sour cherries in the summer. 

But at the grocery it’s fresh figs that always capture my attention. They don’t grow here in the Midwest, so you won’t find them being sold by a local farmer.

There is something exotic about figs, but they are different than say an obscure tropical fruit.

Figs are so delicate that I always take my time selecting the best ones to put in a little carton. You can blame me for totally messing up the display. 
Fig Couscous Salad
And I have no shame about being picky.

The moment I spot figs they have me dreaming about of packing my bags and moving to California or even father to the Mediterranean.

Here in Chicago we usually see Mission figs, with their dark purplish skin, or brown Turkish figs.

They make such a special addition to a cheese plate, and figs are also so good on a flatbread


Fig Couscous Salad

How To Make A Fig Couscous Salad

Another way I love figs are in a salad. They pair perfectly with cheese and greens. You really can’t go wrong with this combo. 

To make a fig couscous salad, I start by cooking the couscous. I love pearl (a.k.a. Israeli) couscous.

And if you can find it, whole wheat couscous has a wonderfully nutty flavor.

Once the couscous cools a bit, I put it in a big bowl and fold in quartered fresh figs, arugula, crumbled goat cheese and walnuts. 

Then to dress my salad, I whisk together lemon vinaigrette with shallots and drizzle it into the bowl.

Adding grains or pasta to salads turns them into really filling dishes, and that’s very true with this fig couscous salad.

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Fig Couscous Salad

Fig Couscous Salad

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x

With arugula, walnuts, goat cheese & lemon vinaigrette, this fig couscous salad is beautiful and filling whether served as a salad or side.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pearl (Israeli) couscous
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 handfuls baby arugula
  • 12 fresh figs, quartered
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Toast the couscous until it is golden, about 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed and the couscous is tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Let the couscous cool for 5 minutes.
  3. While the couscous is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, salt and pepper.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the couscous, arugula and vinaigrette. Fold in the figs, walnuts and goat cheese. Serve at room temperature or cold.
  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x

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  1. Also forgot to mention that toasting the couscous was genius. The package instructions didn’t say that. Also, instead of fresh shallots I used Penzey’s air-dried shallots which I added when the hot water was poured in for the couscous. Great pantry item.

  2. Hi Paige – This salad recipe landed in my email on the perfect morning. I happened to have all the ingredients (with a few minor subs) and made it for lunch. I had exactly 12 figs that needed to be used up, the exact amount of courcous and the arugula. For the lemon juice, I subbed rice vinegar and for the walnuts, I used pistachios.
    Delish!

    • Hi Sophie. That sounds wonderful! When I was working on the recipe I thought about using pistachios, but I had walnuts in my pantry!