Grilled Potato and Fig Salad with Maple-Almond Clusters
This post was originally published here on August 29, 2014. It’s a favorite recipe of mine, so I thought it was worth re-visiting with new and improved photos. I hope you try it out!
I have been in a MEGA salad mood these past couple of weeks. Like, I literally can’t stop eating salads. They’re all I want. All day. Every day.
I’ve always been a big salad eater. But you know how there are some days when you’re just eating a salad because you feel like you’re suppose too be. Like, maybe you’re trying to erase some poor choices from the day before. Yeah. I’ve had my fair share of those moments (most recently, this past Saturday). I think we all have.
But lately, I don’t feel like that at all. My appetite for salads has been insatiable. Luckily for me, there is an overwhelming amount of delectable Summer produce available right now. So feeding my salad desires has never been so easy. Or delicious.
This Grilled Potato and Fig Salad with Maple-Almond Clusters has been a favorite recipe of mine for years now. And it’s currently making it’s way back into heavy rotation. I’m literally obsessed with this salad. And as long as I can reliably find fresh figs at the grocery story, that obsession will continue. Fig season is SO SHORT (which pains me greatly). So when they are around, you know damn straight I’m taking advantage of them in every way possible.
I’m also taking advantage of my grill while the weather allows, grilling both the potatoes and the figs for this recipe. The potatoes do require a little pre-cooking, which helps them to cook evenly on your grill without burning. But it’s worth the extra step. Because everything tastes better from the grill. Even salads.
I find that I don’t need much in the way of dressing for this salad. Just a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar is plenty for me. But you can add some extra-virgin olive oil, if desired.
Beware these maple-almond clusters. They are pretty much like crack. CRACK I tell you! It takes a lot of willpower not to eat (demolish?) the entire batch in one sitting. You might want to just go right ahead and double the recipe, so you have enough for nibbling on and for topping this salad. Trust me when I say they are highly addicting.
1 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
1/4 tsp. salt, plus more for finishing the salad
1.5 lbs fingerling potatoes
16 fresh figs, cut in half lengthwise
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
6-8 cups arugula
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
- Make the maple-almond clusters. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds until they become fragrant and have started to brown slightly, about 2 minutes. Watch them carefully and stir frequently so they don’t burn. Add in 1 1/2 tablespoons of the maple syrup and 1/4 tsp. of salt, stirring until the almonds are well coated. Remove the skillet from the heat and spread the almonds out onto a parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Set aside to cool.
- Cook the potatoes. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover them with 1-2 inches of cold water. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the water to a boil. Then reduce the temperature to maintain a simmer and cook the potatoes, uncovered, until they are just fork tender, about 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the potatoes because you want them to maintain their shape for grilling. Drain the potatoes and set them aside to cool slightly. Once they are cool enough to handle, slice the potatoes in half lengthwise.
- Pre-heat your grill to medium-high. In a large bowl, gently toss the potatoes in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. In a separate bowl, gently toss the figs in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Grill the potatoes and the figs, placing them directly on the grill grates. The potatoes take about 2-3 minutes per side. The figs are more fragile and will only take about 1 minute per side. Remove the potatoes and figs from the grill and place them on a large plate or baking sheet.
- To make the dressing, combine the balsamic vinegar and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup in a small heavy bottom saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer until the balsamic vinegar is reduced to about 1/3 of a cup, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Assemble the salads. Divide the arugula evenly between 4 plates. Top with the grilled potatoes, grilled figs, goat cheese and the maple-almond clusters. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Enjoy immediately.