Arugula Salad (My Favorite Salad!)

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My favorite Arugula Salad, featuring a delectable combination of sweet dried figs, savory salami, crispy cucumber, salty pistachios, and creamy goat cheese. 

Overhead view of Arugula Salad

Arugula Salad Recipe

Are you ready to elevate your salad game? Say hello to delicious and easy-to-make Arugula Salad! It’s packed with a tasty combination of sweet dried figs, savory salami, crisp cucumber, salty pistachios, and creamy goat cheese. The star of the show is the irresistible white balsamic vinaigrette that brings all of the flavors together in perfect harmony.

The best part? The dressing can be made ahead of time, making this salad a breeze to put together on a busy weeknight. Plus, this salad is customizable to your liking, so you can add or subtract ingredients as you please. 

This salad has been my go-to lunch choice lately, I simply can’t get enough of it!

QUICK TIP

Dried figs in a salad may seem unusual, but trust us, they are so delicious! They’re dehydrated fruit, which removes most of the water content, and makes them sweeter, chewier and a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Their unique sweet and nutty flavor pairs perfectly with the savory ingredients in this salad, adding a delicious touch of sweetness. They are a fun alternative to dried  cherries or cranberries, and a great way to add some variety to your salad.

Ingredient shot: view of the components of this recipe

Arugula Salad Ingredients

  • Arugula and spinach mix: You can find these mixed greens at most grocery stores, either in the produce section or pre-packaged bags. When selecting the greens, look for fresh, crisp, undamaged leaves. Avoid any that are brown or wilted.
  • Dried figs: Dried figs can be found in the produce or dried fruit section of most grocery stores. Look for plump, moist figs. Avoid any dry or shriveled fruit.
  • Pistachios: Pistachios are in the snack aisle or bulk food section of most grocery stores. Opt for roasted and salted pistachios for added flavor without any extra work on your end.
  • Goat cheese: Goat cheese is in the specialty cheese section or among other types of cheese. 
  • Cucumber: Choose English or Persian cucumbers for this recipe. They have a milder taste, fewer seeds, and a thin skin that doesn’t need to be peeled. They’re also more flavorful and crispier than regular cucumbers.
  • Salami: Find Salami in the deli or specialty meat section of most grocery stores. Look for fresh salami that has a good balance of fat and meat. Avoid any packages where the salami looks dry or has an off smell.

Process shot: Make dressing by adding ingredients to a jar and shaking to combine.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette

The white balsamic vinaigrette for this Arugula Salad is truly something special! Made with a combination of white balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey and oil, it’s the perfect balance of tangy and sweet, with a hint of mustard and honey. A few notes:

  • You can customize the dressing to your liking by adding more or less honey or Dijon to adjust the taste.
  • This dressing is so good, you’ll want to make extra to have on hand to use on other salads or as a dip. I make a big batch at the beginning of the week and there is never a drop left by the end of the week!
  • You can find white balsamic vinegar at most grocery stores, either in the oil and vinegar section or in the specialty food section. Look for a high-quality white balsamic vinegar that is aged and has a balanced sweetness. Regular dark balsamic vinegar will work, but it will add a darker color and stronger flavor to the dressing–and I like it to look bright and light.
  • Grey Poupon® is a high-quality Dijon mustard known for its smooth texture and rich flavor, making it a great choice for this recipe. It brings a lot of flavor to the vinaigrette.
  • Using a high-quality extra virgin olive oil in the vinaigrette improves the flavor and overall taste of the salad.

QUICK TIP

White balsamic vinegar is a type of vinegar made from white grapes, it has a sweet and tangy flavor like traditional balsamic vinegar but with a lighter color and milder taste. It’s commonly used in vinaigrettes, marinades, and sauces. It pairs well with light-colored fruits and vegetables, fish, chicken, and pork.

VARIATIONS

Arugula Salad Variations

Feel free to mix and match ingredients to suit your taste. If you don’t like salami, you can replace it with another type of meat or skip it altogether. If you’re not a fan of goat cheese, you can use feta or blue cheese instead.

  1. If you can’t find arugula and spinach mix, use a spring mix instead.
  2. No dried figs? You can use other types of dried fruits such as dried apricots, cranberries or cherries.
  3. If you’re not a pistachio fan, you can use other types of nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans.
  4. Instead of goat cheese, swap with other types of cheese such as feta or blue cheese.
  5. Replace salami with cooked bacon, prosciutto or blackened chicken/grilled chicken.
  6. If you don’t want to use white balsamic vinaigrette, try this Lemon Vinaigrette or (dark) Balsamic Vinaigrette.
  7. You can add some fresh herbs like parsley, mint, or basil to the salad for a burst of freshness and flavor.
  8. Add some fresh fruit to the salad for a touch of sweetness, like sliced strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries.

Overhead view of the finished Arugula Salad

STORAGE

Storage

Arugula Salad is best served immediately after it’s dressed. The arugula and spinach wilt quickly when in contact with the dressing, and that will affect the texture and flavor of the salad. This salad does not store well (even for a day) so it is best to consume it as soon as possible after it’s dressed.

Make ahead: If you need to make the salad in advance, you can store the greens, figs, pistachios, cucumber, salami, and goat cheese separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, toss the ingredients together, dress them, and set it on the table! 

Make the dressing in advance: The white balsamic vinaigrette can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. This makes it a great time-saving option for busy days!. When stored at cold temps, the dressing may separate and form layers. If this is the case, simply let it stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes before using, give it a good shake, and it will be ready to use. 

Close-up view of Arugula Salad

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Arugula Salad

5 from 2 votes
Are you ready for a salad that will knock your socks off? Introducing our favorite Arugula Salad, featuring a delectable combination of sweet dried figs, savory salami, crisp cucumber, salty pistachios, and creamy goat cheese. This salad strikes the perfect balance between sweet and savory, with a variety of textures that will keep your taste buds on their toes.
Print Recipe

Arugula Salad

5 from 2 votes
Are you ready for a salad that will knock your socks off? Introducing our favorite Arugula Salad, featuring a delectable combination of sweet dried figs, savory salami, crisp cucumber, salty pistachios, and creamy goat cheese. This salad strikes the perfect balance between sweet and savory, with a variety of textures that will keep your taste buds on their toes.
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Healthy, Jamaican
Keyword arugula salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Chelsea Lords
Calories 261kcal
Cost $7.86

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon each: white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

Salad

  • 5 oz. arugula and spinach mix (or mixed greens)
  • ½ cup thinly sliced dried figs
  • cup roasted and salted shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped (Note 1)
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber (Note 2)
  • 3 oz. (~1 cup) salami, diced
  • cup crumbled goat cheese

Instructions

  • DRESSING: Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a wide-mouth glass jar. Seal jar and shake vigorously to combine (make sure honey doesn't pool at the bottom!). Refrigerate the dressing until ready to use, shaking again before using to re-emulsify. (See Note 3)
  • SALAD: Add the arugula and spinach mix to a large bowl. Top the greens with thinly sliced dried figs, chopped pistachios, chopped cucumber, diced salami, and crumbled goat cheese.
  • DRESS: (Read Note 4 first.) Drizzle some of the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat. Add additional dressing to taste, if desired. Serve immediately and enjoy!
  • MAKE AHEAD: If you need to make the salad in advance, you can store the greens, figs, pistachios, cucumber, salami, and goat cheese separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. When you're ready to serve the salad, toss the ingredients together and dress them. 

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Pistachios: Find pistachios in the snack aisle or bulk food section of most grocery stores. Choose roasted and salted pistachios for added flavor without any extra work on your end. And save your fingers--grab shelled nuts!
Note 2: Cucumber: English or Persian (salad) cucumbers are a great choice for this recipe, as they have a milder taste, fewer seeds, and a thin skin that doesn't need to be peeled. They're also more flavorful and crispier than regular cucumbers. No need to peel if using English/Persian/Salad cucumbers.
Note 3: Dressing make-ahead: The white balsamic vinaigrette can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use, making it a great time-saving option for when you're putting the salad together. When stored at cold temps, the dressing may separate and form layers. If this is the case, simply let it stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes before using, give it a good shake, and it will be ready to use. 
Note 4: This Arugula Salad is best served immediately after it's dressed. The arugula and spinach can wilt quickly when in contact with the dressing, and that affects the texture and flavor of the salad. This salad does not store well (even for a day) so it is best to consume it as soon as possible after it's dressed.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 473mg | Potassium: 336mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 736IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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