Fig and Fried Goat Cheese Salad with Nectarine Vinaigrette

healthy summer salad of arugula, figs, and fried goat cheese

Fig and Fried Goat Cheese Salad with Nectarine Vinaigrette ~ a gorgeous fall inspired salad with luxurious fresh figs and crispy rounds of goat cheese all warm and melty inside. The nectarine vinaigrette is an explosive flavor bomb, too!

Fig and Fried Goat Cheese Salad with Nectarine Vinaigrette in a wooden bowl

The figs are here! This is the only time you’re going to see them fresh in the marketplace, so be sure to grab some while they’re around. I like the dark purple Black Missions, they’re so special all you really need to do is slice them into wedges and indulge. A salad like this Fig and Fried Goat Cheese Salad with Spicy Nectarine Vinaigrette will steal the show — your main course will have to play second fiddle for a change, but that’s perfect because you can serve the simplest thing with it and still have a hit on your hands. Between the voluptuous figs, the toasted walnuts, the warm creamy cheese, the peppery arugula, and the sweet/hot/tang of the nectarine dressing, you’ve pretty much covered all your foodie sensations.

spicy nectarine vinaigrette

If I’ve accomplished nothing else on this blog, I hope I hope I’ve convinced you to play around with vinaigrettes. They’re ingenious little flavor bombs. A ripe nectarine and a small food processor or blender is all you need to create this one. The rest of the ingredients are the usual suspects…olive oil, champagne vinegar, a little grainy Dijon mustard…oh, and a habanero pepper. That might not be a usual suspect, but it’s good! I first made this dressing with jalapeno, but I didn’t like the flavor it added, so I went with half a habanero pepper and it’s just perfect. The habanero adds lots of fire but doesn’t compete with the nectarine.

healthy summer salad of arugula, figs, and fried goat cheese

Be sure to fry the rounds of goat cheese at the last minute, just before you serve the salad. They’ll have a little crunch on the outside and be warm and oozy inside. The contrast between the warm cheese and the greens is really nice. Salad with this much going on is a feast for all the senses, with a mix of enticing colors, textures, and flavors.

fig and fried goat cheese salad


arugula salad with figs and fried goat cheese

If you love figs, you’ll also love my EASY BAKED BRIE WITH FIGS AND HONEY. It makes a fabulous fall appetizer.

Fried Goat Cheesae and Fig Salad in a bowl


healthy summer salad of arugula, figs, and fried goat cheese
5 from 2 votes

Fig and Fried Goat Cheese Salad with Spicy Nectarine Vinaigrete

Fig and Fried Goat Cheese Salad with Nectarine Vinaigrette ~ a gorgeous fall inspired salad with luxurious figs and creamy goat cheese.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Author Sue Moran


  • 4 handfuls baby arugula one handful per serving
  • 4 ripe black mission figs quartered
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut halves toast for 10 minutes at 350F
  • 1/2 heirloom tomato cut in small wedges

fried goat cheese

  • 5 oz block of goat cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp assorted dried herbs I used thyme, oregano and dill
  • oil for frying

nectarine vinaigrette

  • 1 nectarine washed and sliced (don't peel)
  • 1/2 habanero pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 1 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
  • pinch salt


  • First make the dressing. Puree the nectarine with the habanero in a small food processor, processing until fully pureed.
  • Pour just 3 tablespoons of the puree into a jar or small bowl and whisk in the rest of the ingredients. Take a taste and adjust it if you like. Refrigerate until needed.
  • Put the arugula in a wide shallow salad bowl. Scatter the figs, walnuts and tomatoes over the top.
  • Slice the goat cheese into 4 rounds. If your log is long and thin, you can make smaller rounds, or reform the soft cheese with your hands to make larger patties.
  • Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Put the crumbs in another and stir in the salt and herbs.
  • Coat the bottom of a skillet with oil and heat on medium until hot. Dip each goat cheese pattie into the egg and then into the crumbs. Make sure the crumbs coat all surfaces of the cheese. Fry in the hot oil until golden on each side, it should only take a couple of minutes.
  • Drain the patties on paper towels and then set immediately onto the salad. Serve with the vinaigrette.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


Don’t forget to Pin this Fig and Fried Goat Cheese Salad!

Fig and Fried Goat Cheese Salad pin


more figs…

Roasted Fig Ice Cream Cone

Roasted Fig Gelato


Cardamom Fig Jam


Cardamom and Brandy Poached Figs

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  • Reply
    August 5, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    OMG I loooove goat cheese, figs and habaneros but never thought to put them together in a salad! This one is right up my ally. Can’t wait to try, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      August 6, 2017 at 7:13 am

      You’re welcome Kelly, seeing your comment made me want to make this again!

  • Reply
    Danielle + Rooting The Sun
    August 12, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Salutations Sue! This salad is every ode I want to sing to the beautiful figs of this season. I’ve been coveting a love affair of my own with them. The figs I was able to obtain are panache or tiger striped figs – just as visually arresting. Their taste is what teaches me to sing though. Beautiful recipe and photography, I will enjoy making this lovely salad! 🙂

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    August 4, 2015 at 7:35 am

    This is an absolutely beautiful plate of deliciousness! Your photos are mesmerizing! I want one now please!

  • Reply
    Joanne Bruno
    August 4, 2015 at 5:25 am

    This has to be the most perfect salad ever ever ever!! I can’t rest until I make it.

  • Reply
    August 3, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Figs are a definite must-have right now! They sound like a perfect combination with the oozing goat cheese. Yay!

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits
    August 3, 2015 at 10:54 am

    I’m so happy that fig season is here now, and we get to gorge on these beautiful fruits every day. Love that you put it in a salad with some fried goat cheese!

    • Reply
      August 3, 2015 at 11:04 am

      Thanks Lisa!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    August 3, 2015 at 7:12 am

    This is so… pretty and you’ve gotten me so.. excited about FIGS! The dressing sounds fantastic!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2015 at 11:46 am

    I love figs so much. I’m getting ready to spend almost 3 weeks in Seattle and the thing I know I will miss the most is stealing figs from the trees in my hood (well foraging I mean). I’m going to bookmark this so I can easily return for a fig fix. GREG

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s+Recipes
    August 2, 2015 at 8:35 am

    What a fantastic salad! Hopefully fresh figs will be available in our supermarkets next week. I miss them.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    August 2, 2015 at 5:32 am

    Beautiful salad. There is nothing prettier than figs and when paired with goat cheese – perfection!

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