I guess its becoming pretty obvious that I’m quite keen on the combination of figs and walnuts. From sharing a fig + walnut muffin recipe a few weeks back, to now posting this amazing autumn salad featuring some more figs and, of course, walnuts. But really… they just go so well together, especially when combined with beets, arugula leaves (rucola) and maple glazed sea salt walnuts.
I get a lot of salad inspiration from some of the local cafes in our area, a few of which have a selection of large salad bowls on display that change with the seasons. They always look stunning and colourful and I love the notion of seasonal salads.
Salads are an all year round thing in our house. They go from being fresh and fruity during the summer months, to warm and hearty during the winter season, featuring baked or roasted vegetables, including beets, sweet potato and cauliflower.
For this salad I attempted my own maple glazed sea salt walnuts and the result was fabulous! The sweet and savoury on the rich and buttery walnuts is not only the perfect salad topping but also works well in desserts. I think they would go especially well with baked apples or on fruit crumbles, and intend to find out soon!
I haven’t always been the best with eating seasonally, but since moving to London and living 5 minutes from an incredible farmers market, eating seasonally has been very easy since we tend to get the majority of our weekly produce from there. So with a fridge full of fresh figs, fresh beet roots and leafy greens, this salad was inevitable. In the process of nailing the fig vinaigrette and getting the right photo, I have enjoyed this salad a few times this week and absolutely love it. The bitterness from the arugula leaves compliment the sweet beets and figs perfectly. Meanwhile the buttery walnuts add a great crunch as well as a healthy dose of nourishing omega 3 fats, which are filling and absolutely amazing for your skin.
Overall this salad is bursting with antioxidants, healthy fats, fibre and and anti-inflammatory benefits. Beets are a great source of betaine – a nutrient which helps protect our cells from the damaging effects of stress, while also fighting inflammation and protecting the body against a number of chronic disease. Beets also promote healthy detoxification and are traditionally valued for helping to purify the blood and support overall liver function. So many good reasons to take advantage of this delicious vegetables while its in season! Juice it, grate it into salads, bake it, steam it and add it to your muffins for a naturally sweet flavour. It is pretty much good no matter what!
|Fig Autumn Salad With Maple + Sea Salt Glazed Walnuts|| |
- 2 generous handfuls arugula
- ⅓ cup (330 ml) fresh peas
- 2 fresh figs
- 2 medium beet roots
- 1 ounce feta cheese (optional)
- 40 gm (1½ oz) walnuts
- ½ tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 fresh fig
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 3-4 tbsp water
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp honey (optional, depending on how sweet your figs are)
- Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F)
- Wash, peel and slice the fresh beets and place on an oven rack. Sprinkle with salt + pepper and bake in the oven for about 15 mins until tender. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- Place all the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Add salt + pepper to taste and adjust as needed. Pour into a small jar and set aside.
- For the maple glazed walnuts, combine coconut oil, maple syrup and salt and mix well using a spoon. Add the walnuts and stir until they are covered in the oil + maple mixture. Place walnuts on a hot pan and roast for a couple of minutes until fragrant and the syrup starts to set. Transfer to a small bowl and leave to cool.
- Place arugula leaves on two plates. Add peas, sliced figs and roasted beet slices and toss lightly. Top with feta cheese, maple glazed walnuts + fig vinaigrette and add a touch of balsamic glaze to decorate.
- Serve immediately.
- Also great when served with grilled chicken breast.
Hope you’re all loving autumn and will enjoy this salad as much as we do!