Fig, Walnut and Goat Cheese Salad with Pumpkin Spice Balsamic Dressing is my new favorite fall salad! It’s loaded with textures and flavors and topped with a dressing that will leave your guests asking for the recipe. This salad doesn’t involve candied nuts or complicated instructions. It is simple and straightforward and unbelievable delicious. The bright colors and flavor filled ingredients will add the pop of color you need on your holiday table!
Holiday meals are a lot of work. There’s no way around it. I prefer to focus most of my time in the kitchen on Thanksgiving day baking. I need to serve a salad that isn’t too time consuming, but still be worthy of our holiday spread. We all know a holiday meal isn’t complete without a beautiful salad!
Everyone loves stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, yams, rolls, pie, etc. I’m the first to load my plate with all of the above. But…balance. If you want to please your eyes, as well as your digestive system, make sure to add a salad to your lineup!
I created this salad with a few things in mind: 1. Color and texture. 2. Simplicity 3. Fall flavors.
The crunchy greens and walnut halves along with creamy goat cheese and chewy figs are an amazing combination. I’ve made this salad several times in the past few weeks and every time have received lip-smacking positive reviews. The dressing is a little out of the ordinary because of the pumpkin pie spice, which is usually found in pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie and cookies. If you want to make your own pumpkin pie spice, take a look at this post.
I used a fig balsamic to make this dressing, but a traditional balsamic works fine as well. Either way, I’m guessing you will be like me and want to top every salad you can with this dressing. Are you making a list of holiday dishes? You can checked off the salad. Come back for more recipes and planning tips all week long!
Next up: Simple Salted Caramel Apple Pie
Fig, Walnut and Goat Cheese Salad with Pumpkin Spice Dressing
Yield 6 -8 servings
- 12 cups greens
- ½ yam, peeled and cut into julienne strips about 1 1/2-2 cups of julienne pieces
- Olive or canola oil, about 2 tablespoons
- 6 dried figs, stemmed and sliced
- 1 cup whole walnuts
- ¾ cup goat cheese
- Pumpkin Spice Dressing:
- ½ cup olive or canola oil
- ¼ cup balsamic ( i used fig balsamic)
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar or bowl. Whisk until blended. Do not refrigerate.
- Saute the yam strips in oil until a bit crisp, drain on paper towels. If they are not crisp enough, place in oven on a cookie sheet at 375 convection or 400 regular bake for about 5-7 minutes or until crisp.
- Toss together the remaining salad ingredients. Top with yam strips.
- When ready to assemble salad, whisk dressing again.
- Drizzle about ¼-⅓ cup of dressing on top of salad bowl or plate the salads individually and top with yam strips and drizzle with dressing.
- The dressing should cover about 3x this recipe.
- Recipe yields about 6-8 side salad servings.
-This salad can be stretched by adding a few more cups of greens. Keep the other ingredients the same and add up to 5 cups of additional lettuce. -If you are plating the salads individually for a table, go ahead and plate the lettuce, walnuts, figs, goat cheese and top with yam strips up to an hour before serving. Drizzle with dressing no more than 15 minutes ahead. -When assembling this salad in a bowl, toss all ingredients and save a bit of the goat cheese, chopped figs, walnuts and yams for topping the salad.