This Fall Fig Salad features layers of sweet California figs, creamy goat cheese, hazelnuts, and turkey. Thanksgiving leftovers never tasted so good!
Disclosure: I was financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.
I don’t know about you, but I’m all about the sides at Thanksgiving. From sweet potato casserole to stuffing, by the time the turkey gets passed around my plate is usually already too full.
But the next day? I’m all over that turkey. While turkey sandwiches are a classic ways to put leftovers to good use, let me convince you that this fig-filled salad is the way to go:
Speaking of figs, if you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing appetizer for Thanksgiving day, it’s hard to beat a cheese platter complete with juicy California figs, tangy goat cheese, and some roasted hazelnuts.
All three of which just also happen to be ideal salad ingredients.
While figs are best known for how their nutty sweet flavor, they also happen to be super nutritious.
Dried or fresh, here are some nutrition highlights:
They’re also higher in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and managenese than most other fruits.
Figs are also rich in phytonutrients, which are natural compounds that have been linked with boosting immunity, slowing signs of aging, and protecting against several chronic diseases.
Trying to get more fruit in your diet? Just 3-5 dried (¼ cup) or fresh (½ cup) figs count as one serving of fruit.
Did you know that 100% of the dried figs and 98% of the fresh figs grown commercially in the U.S. are grown in California?
And there’s a reason for it. Grown in sun-drenched valleys of California, fig trees from California have the ideal growing conditions to create juicy, flavorful fruit.
California Figs are also inspected and certified to ensure that they meet the high standards of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Figs start to show up on the trees around May, with peak California fig season lasting from the summer through October or even November.
While fresh figs are stunningly beautiful, to get my fig-fix year-round I keep a bag (or two) of dried ones in my pantry for baking, cooking, and snacking.
Speaking of, let’s talk about all the ways you can incorporate more of these sweet fruits into your meals.
Looking for ways to get more figs in your life? Then you need to check out the California Figs Cookbook: A Collection of Recipes for Fig Lovers, which was created by the California Fig Advisory Board.
Not only is it filled with 62 recipes, but each one is accompanied with a gorgeous photo to get your taste buds watering.
Some of my favorites so far include:
While I haven’t tried them yet, the California Fig Cinnamon Breakfast Rolls are on my list to try out this winter!
Wondering where you can get your hands on a copy? Head on over to www.CaliforniaFigs.com!
To help kickoff the new cookbook, I decided to put a Thanksgiving-spin on the California Fig Waldorf Salad.
Perfect for meal prep and bringing to work or school, mason jar salads are a convenient way to make a flavor-packed salad that doesn’t get soggy when made ahead of time.
The Waldorf Salad features green onion, celery, apple slices, walnuts, dried figs, goat cheese, and romaine lettuce complete with a simple vinaigrette.
With all those textures and flavors, it’s more than “just” a salad.
This fall fig salad takes a Thanksgiving twist on that recipe.
We’re still using dried figs and goat cheese, but then swapping sweet potatoes in for the apple, adding leftover turkey, and using roasted hazelnuts in place of the walnuts.
And if you’re thinking that you don’t usually have goat cheese and figs at Thanksgiving, let this salad be your excuse to make a crowd-pleasing appetizer this year!
My favorite part of this salad is the combination of dried figs and the maple vinaigrette. Between the nutty, slightly smoky flavor of the figs and the sweet maple, it’s a match made in flavor-heaven.
For the salad:
For the maple vinaigrette:
The best part about this salad is that you can sub in any leftovers you have from Thanksgiving or that are just sitting around in your fridge.
The most important tip is to put the dressing on the bottom and the greens on the very top.
While the order of the other ingredients isn’t quite as important, I like to put my starch or protein directly on top of the dressing as I don’t mind if they soak up more of it.
Dried fruits, cheeses, and chopped nuts are usually towards the top to keep them further away from the dressing.
Plus, they’re usually my favorite part of any salad, so by having them in the middle almost every bite will contain at least a little fig and cheese.
This fig fall salad is also a nutritious way to add a pop of color to your holiday dinners. Simply leave out the turkey to turn it into a side dish or first course.
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