Enjoy all the savory sweetness Italy has to offer with this flavor-packed salad. This fig and arugula salad features roasted figs marinated in a tangy-sweet balsamic and maple dressing. But what sets it apart is the decadent burrata cheese. It’s more than just a salad, it’s an experience!
It starts with roasted figs marinated in an acidic yet sweet balsamic vinegar and maple syrup dressing. Cooked to soft, chewy perfection, these yummy figs dress a bed of peppery arugula. The dish is finished with a ball of creamy burrata and a sprinkling of chopped pistachios.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy and Fast. For all this salad delivers you might expect it to be complicated and time-consuming to make but with very little prep and only 15 minutes of baking time, this meal is ready in a flash.
- So Many Flavors. You just can’t beat this combination of tart, sweet, and buttery. Not to mention all the satisfying textures that go with those flavors.
- Wonderfully Versatile. This salad can hold its own at the dinner table but it is just as good as a side dish or appetizer.
- Packed with Micronutrients. Arugula brings beta-carotene, vitamin C, magnesium, and folate while figs pack plenty of copper and vitamin B6.
What Is Burrata?
Burrata is an Italian cheese that combines mozzarella with stracciatella and cream.
Mozzarella makes up the outer casing, creating a solid cheese envelope to hold the creamy filling inside. This filling contains a mix of stracciatella, or shredded curd, and thick cream.
Traditionally, burrata was made as a means to use up leftover curd scraps. Some cheesemakers, especially those in the Foggia region, use stracciatella from buffalo cheese to create the chunky, creamy insides.
Asphodel leaves were once used to wrap finished burrata. These served as a living expiration date for this short-lived cheese. Once the leaves turned brown, you knew the burrata was no longer fresh enough to eat.
Today, burrata is most often sold tightly wrapped in plastic or contained in liquid. Still, it has a very short shelf life compared to most cheeses, which makes it harder than plain mozzarella to find at the grocery store.
How to Make Fig and Arugula Salad with Burrata
This recipe takes just a few steps of preparation, coming together in less than 20 minutes. Once you taste it, you’ll never believe it was so easy to make.
Let’s take a quick look at how to throw this delicious salad together.
- Burrata. This cheese is very much the star of the show. You can find burrata at most well-stocked grocery stores. It is also common at craft cheeseries.
- Figs. For this recipe, you want to find ripe figs, not dried. Fig season is May through November, making this recipe perfect for late spring, summer, and early fall.
- Balsamic vinegar. You’ll make your own balsamic vinaigrette to marinate the figs in. Choose a rich balsamic vinegar with plenty of flavor. I prefer Colavita.
- Pistachios. These crunchy, savory nuts may be added last, but they shouldn’t be forgotten. They add to the textural journey of this salad and round out the varying flavors with a grounded earthiness.
1. Cut Figs in Half. Place in a deep casserole dish.
2. Mix Marinade Ingredients. Pour the marinade over the figs.
3. Bake Figs until Brown. Reserve the marinade to use as a dressing.
4. Serve Roasted Gigs over a Bed of Arugula. Top with burrata and pistachios.
Recipe Tips, Substitutions, and Variations
- Drench the figs in marinade. Make sure you pour plenty of marinade directly over each fig before you pop them in the oven. This way the spongy insides of the figs can absorb that balsamic glaze.
- Substitute pine nuts or walnuts. If you’re out of pistachios, toasted pine nuts, or walnuts make a great stand-in.
- Use mozzarella if you can’t find burrata. Mozzarella has a similar flavor to burrata but you won’t get the same creaminess.
- Add prosciutto. Maximize the Italian in this dish by adding a few shreds of finely shaved prosciutto to the mix.
- Mix it up. Once you’ve tried the original, feel free to mix it up by adding your own extra ingredients to this easy-to-make salad. Some of my favorite optional toppings include goat cheese, herbs, fresh basil leaves, cherry tomatoes, and a drizzle of lemon.
Make Ahead and Storage Recommendations
This burrata salad hardly takes any time to make, but if you’re super pressed for time or don’t have the kitchen or oven space to make it the day of, you can complete some of the steps ahead of time.
The balsamic marinade can be made up to three days in advance. Place it in an airtight container in the fridge.
The figs can be roasted a few days early, as well, if needed. Store them in the fridge and take them out about 15 minutes before serving to allow them to warm to room temperature. Store the leftover marinade separately to avoid the figs getting too soggy.
This salad is best eaten fresh. But if you do have leftovers (and I don’t know how you would—it’s so good!), they can be stored in the fridge for later.
Place any leftover salad in an airtight container and put it in the fridge for up to three days. If possible, store the arugula separately from the other ingredients.
Whether as a main dish or a supporting plate, this fig and arugula salad plays very well with other Italian-inspired dishes. Here are a few of our favorite pairings.
- Bruschette – Simple and always delicious.
- Honey-Roasted Carrots with Rosemary – Sweet and earthy and freakishly satisfying.
- Green Basil Pesto Hummus with Roasted Garlic Pita Chips – The perfect appetizer.
- Oil Free Pesto with Basil and Avocado – All the flavor without the fat.
- Hasselback Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary – The perfect way to get your starch fix.
- Doughballs with Homemade Garlic Butter – Like a delicious sponge for scooping up all that creamy burrata.
- Mediterranean No-Rise Scone-Based Pizza with Burrata – Have more burrata than the salad called for? Put it to use on this equally adventurous and delicious pizza.
Fig & Arugula Salad with Burrata
- Casserole dish
- Small bowl
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- salt and pepper
- 6-8 figs ripe
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 8 oz burrata ball
- 3-4 cups arugula washed
- ¼ cup pistachios shells removed, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. While the oven is preheating, cut the figs into halves. Place the figs cut side up in a parchment lined casserole dish.
- Mix balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a bowl, and brush the figs with the mixture.
- Bake the figs for 12-15 minutes, or until they start to brown. Reserve the juices from the tray for the dressing.
- Assemble the salad by placing the arugula on a platter, then the roasted figs, with the burrata in the middle. Drizzel with the homemade dressing and sprinkle with pistachios.