Aaaand my fig obsession continues. Every year around this time, I buy as many as I can because I love them so much. Their season is WAY too short! I found the most GORGEOUS figs last week at the store and knew I had to make something delicious with them.
I mean, can you even stand how beautiful they are? Then green ones are my favorite. These were actually “tiger figs” which I don’t think I’ve ever had. I used black mission figs which are wonderful too. I think they’re just a tad less sweet. I love figs because they have that “pop” from the seeds, because texture is my favorite thing ever, and I love the fact that they’re not toooo sweet. I’m not much of a sweets person. I pick salty over sweet any day of the week. When they’re together though, that’s another story.
Like in this instance! Sweet figs, salty bacon, mozzarella, and sweet balsamic vinaigrette and glaze make for the most delicious combo. Fresh basil and chives too! I guess that counts as the green in this salad. Ha.
For the dressing, I made a version of my fig balsamic vinaigrette from this salad. It’s just fig jam, balsamic, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil. The fig jam makes it thicker and more emulsified than a classic balsamic vinaigrette. SO insanely good.
I almost used orzo for this salad, which you could totally do, but the store didn’t have any. I grew up eating a lot of orzo salads so it’s super nostalgic for me. My mom would make orzo with sautéed onions and parm as a side dish for many dinners and it was so good! Haven’t had it in years but I can still taste it.
Instead, I opted for Israeli couscous which is so fun! I haven’t had it in awhile and I forgot how much I loved it. It’s just so fun to eat! Because hello, texture.
And for an extra layer of sweet balsamic goodness, I added balsamic glaze over the top! Optional but highly recommended. Sometimes I make my own, but the squeeze bottles they’re selling now make it so easy! And it’s super thick and luxurious. Win win.
Love this so much.
Fig Bacon Couscous Salad with Mozzarella, Basil, Chives, and Balsamic Vinaigrette
This summery couscous salad is filled with gorgeous fresh figs, bacon, mozzarella, basil, chives, and a super simple balsamic vinaigrette!
For the salad
- 1 (8 ounce) package Israeli couscous (can sub orzo if desired)
- 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 8 fresh figs, quartered, plus a few extra for topping
- 3/4 cup fresh mini mozzarella balls, halved
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives, plus extra for serving
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus extra for serving
- balsamic glaze for topping
For the dressing
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon fig jam
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Bring a pot of water to a boil for the orzo. Cook according to package directions. Drain and then rinse with cold water. Make sure it has cooled before assembling the salad.
Make the dressing. Combine garlic, fig jam, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
To assemble the salad, combine cooled couscous, bacon, figs, and mozzarella balls in a large bowl and stir gently to combine. Add desired amount of dressing (you will have a bit leftover), as well as the chives and basil and stir to combine.
To serve, top with a drizzle of balsamic glaze, extra chopped chives and basil, and more fresh figs!