When fresh figs are in season, this fig salad recipe goes on heavy rotation in our home. It is absolutely delicious, and so nourishing. Ripe figs are just bursting with flavor and texture; they make a perfect accompaniment to dark green, nutrient-rich salad greens. Add pan-seared halloumi, walnuts, and a flavorful balsamic dressing – wow. This fig salad is not to be missed!
I make my fig salad with massaged and wilted curly kale, though you can use any dark green you like – spinach, arugula, or baby kale will each work well. I really enjoy this with curly kale, but only when the kale is massaged. Massaging kale leaves with olive oil and a touch of salt wilts them slightly, mellowing their flavor and making them tender, sweeter, and less bitter. The kale massage is key to some of my favorite salad recipes, including my Kale Pear Salad with Cranberries and my Kale Caesar Salad. Of course, this fig salad recipe rates high on my salad list as well. Too bad we can’t get fresh figs all year round!
My favorite part of this fig salad (besides the fresh figs) is the halloumi cheese. For those of you who have never tried halloumi (also spelled halloume), you’re in for a treat. It’s a salty combination of goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, and sometimes cow’s milk. Halloumi is popular all over the Mediterranean, particularly in Greece. It has a special texture that makes it ideal for grilling and frying– meaning, you can brown the outside to a crispy golden texture without it melting into a pile of goop. In fact, halloumi tastes best when it’s grilled or fried. The browning of the exterior brings out all of the flavor. You can even light it on fire, like Greek saganaki cheese. Opa!
Salty halloumi pairs particularly well with sweet, juicy fruits like figs. When added to this fig salad recipe, the combination is undeniably addictive. Figs, walnuts, and cheese are a perfect accent to the mild, massaged curly kale. It’s a lovely flavor seasonal combination, full of flavor and loaded with nutrition. Your body and your tastebuds will thank you.
Fig Salad with Kale and Halloumi
- 8 ounces halloumi cheese (you may substitute any dark salad green you prefer – baby kale, spinach, or arugula all work well)
- 10 ounces curly kale
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
- 8 ounces fresh figs (about 10 medium figs)
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped walnuts
- Lightly grease a skillet and heat over medium. Slice the halloumi cheese and place the slices in the skillet.
- Let the halloumi sear for a few minutes until golden brown on both sides. Allow the halloumi to cool to room temperature.
- Chop the halloumi into small pieces.
- Cut the stems off the figs, then slice them in half. Discard the stems.
- Cut the leaves of kale off of the thick, tough stalks; discard the stalks. Chop the kale leaves into bit-sized pieces. You should end up with around 8-10 cups of kale leaves.
- Place the kale leaves into a salad bowl and pour the olive oil and sea salt over them. Massage the olive oil and sea salt into the kale with clean fingers for 2-3 minutes until the kale is softened and slightly wilted. This will help remove bitterness from the kale.
- Add the balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, fresh figs, chopped walnuts, and halloumi. Toss the salad gently to combine.
- Let the salad sit for a few minutes at room temperature to allow the flavors to blend. Toss again, then serve. This salad should be eaten in one sitting; leftovers do not keep well. You can easily halve the recipe for a smaller crowd.
tried this recipe?
Let us know in the comments!
Other Delicious Recipe Ideas:
Simply Recipes – Sautéed Kale with Tahini Sauce
Hunter Angler Gardener Cook – Fig Jam with Ouzo
Kalyn’s Kitchen – Baby Kale Caprese Salad