Peppery, Sweet, and Crunchy: Arugula Dijon Salad with Figs, Pistachios, and Pea Shoots

I am not generally a salad person.

Overhead vertical image of a blue and white patterned plate of arugula, sliced figs, pea shoots, and pistachios, with a fork on the rim, on a cloth-topped surface with fresh fruit, nuts, and scattered leaves, with another plate and a blue glass bowl of salad with brown wooden serving utensils in the background.

I cannot happily sit down with a bag of lettuce or spinach and some dressing like my husband can. He will just dress the plain leaves and gobble it all up for his lunch.

To me, nothing sounds worse than a bowlful of plain greens with a little bit of dressing.

It’s one thing if you are pairing that simple combination with a protein like chicken or steak.

But if we’re talking about plain greens served on their own, I’m going to have to politely decline.

Vertical overhead image of a light blue glass bowl of arugula with sliced figs and pistachios, with wooden serving utensils, on a dark brown wood table topped with a gathered white cloth, with a blue and white plate and scattered nuts, fruit, and leaves.

I’m sorry, but I need a lot of STUFF in my salads. If there’s only one texture throughout the whole thing, I get bored about three bites into it.

That’s why this recipe has become one of my favorites this summer. There’s tons of yummy things going on, and it’s far from one-note.

In addition to the peppery bite that arugula brings, there’s also lovely pea shoots in the mix.

Vertical overhead image of a light blue glass bowl of arugula, fig, and pistachio salad with wooden serving utensils, surrounded by three blue and white patterned plates of salad with forks, on a dark brown wood surface partially covered by a white and a black and white cloth, with scattered fruits, nuts, and leaves.

If you aren’t familiar with pea shoots, they come from the pea plant (surprise, surprise). They are a delicate ingredient that’s comprised of a few inches of the young leaves and tendrils.

Pea shoots are not the exact same thing as pea sprouts. The shoots are actually a bit more mature, and they provide a fun balance with the arugula and the other ingredients in this dish.

Not sure how to track down pea shoots? Check out my tips at the end of this article.

Oblique overhead vertical image of a blue glass bowl of salad made with greens, nuts, and fresh figs, with wooden serving utensils, on a brown wood surface with scattered pistachios, fruit, and leafy greens, on a folded cloth.

The sweetness of the fresh figs and the crunchy, salty pistachios provide a fun surprise with each mouthful. When you combine all of this with the simplest homemade salad dressing, you have a fresh and flavorful dish that is truly memorable.

The homemade dressing is one that I also love to use on other types of greens, if I happen to have any left over after I make this dish.

It’s such a basic recipe, made with ingredients that you likely already have in your fridge and pantry. All that it requires is lemon juice, a touch of honey, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt.

The result is a wonderfully balanced dressing that’s tangy, acidic, and slightly sweet. It makes for a fantastic pairing with the peppery arugula, and I’ll throw it on whatever greens I have left over in the fridge the next day – as long as I’m pairing it with half a sandwich or soup, of course.

Vertical image of a patterned blue and white plate of arugula with sliced figs, pistachios, green pea shoots, and dressing, with scattered nuts and leaves on a checkered cloth on a brown wood surface, with a blue glass bowl containing more salad in the background, with brown wooden serving utensils and a fork on the rim of the plate.

Again, I stand by the fact that dressed greens on their own are totally blah! You can do better, and make a fresh vegetable side that’s nutritious, easy to prepare, and super delicious.

This recipe pairs nicely with chicken or steak, if you want to add some protein on top of it to make a heartier meal. I’ll even put in on top of burgers or pizza, should the mood to shake things up strike me.

Versatile and insanely easy to make, there’s no excuse for you not to be running to the store or the farmers market right now to gather the ingredients for it.

Print
Horizontal image of a blue and white patterned plate of arugula with sliced figs and pistachios, with a stainless steel fork on the rim, on a brown wooden table topped partially with a patterned black and white cloth, with scattered nuts and leaves, and a blue glass bowl beside a plate in the background.

Arugula Dijon Salad with Figs, Pistachios, and Pea Shoots


  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 side portions 1x

Description

Simpler is always better, and this peppery, sweet, and crunchy arugula salad with figs, pistachios, and pea shoots proves that.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 4 cups lightly packed arugula
  • 4 oz pea shoots
  • 6 oz fresh figs, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted, unsalted pistachios

For the Dressing:

  • Juice of one lemon (about 2 Tbsp)
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk lemon juice, honey, mustard, and salt together. Slowly drizzle in olive oil and constantly, until well-combined. Season to taste, if desired.
  3. Drizzle dressing onto the salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

  • Category: Salads
  • Method: No-cook
  • Cuisine: Side Dishes

Keywords: arugula, Dijon mustard, pistachios, figs, pea shoots

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Slice Figs, Chop Pistachios, Juice Lemon, and Measure Remaining Ingredients

Slice the fresh figs. You should have 1 cup total.

Chop enough roasted, unsalted pistachios until you have 1/3 cup total.

Overhead horizontal image of a small square glass bowl of Dijon mustard, three small round glass bowls of vinegar, honey, and pistachios, a medium-sized stainless steel bowl of pea shoots and a slightly larger pale blue glass bowl of arugula, a lemon, and six fresh purple figs, on a dark brown wood table.

Juice a lemon. You should have about 2 tablespoons of juice.

Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as they are listed on the ingredients list.

Step 2 – Combine Ingredients

Add the arugula, pea shoots, figs, and pistachios to a large bowl.

Horizontal closely cropped overhead image of a pale blue glass bowl of arugula, pea shoots, pistachios, and sliced fresh figs, in separate piles prior to tossing, on a dark brown wood surface.

Toss to combine.

Step 3 – Make Dressing

Add the lemon juice, honey, mustard, and salt for the dressing to a small bowl. Whisk to combine.

Slowly drizzle oil into the mixture while whisking, and continue to whisk until well-combined.

Overhead horizontal image of a yellow Dijon mustard salad dressing mixture in the bottom of a stainless steel bowl, on a dark brown wood surface.

If you like, you can season the dressing to taste, by adding any of the listed ingredients in small increments until you get the perfect blend. I think it’s already perfectly balanced as described, but to each his own!

Step 4 – Finish and Serve

Drizzle the dressing over the salad as desired. If you like less dressing on your salad, start by using about half to start. Toss to coat, and add more as desired.

Closely cropped vertical oblique overhead image of a light blue glass bowl of arugula with sliced figs, pea shoots, and pistachios, with wooden serving utensils.

Serve immediately. Leftover dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Give it a stir or shake before using, to make sure the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Where The Heck Do I Find Pea Shoots?

Pea shoots can be an ingredient that is hard to track down. If you can’t seem to locate them at your regular grocery store or farmers market, you have a couple of options.

Starting from scratch is one option that you might like to try. You can buy seeds and grow them yourself so you can have them handy year round, if you happen to have a green thumb.

However, if you are anything like me and you tend to kill every plant you touch, there are other options.

Hit up your closest Asian market. Pea shoots are almost always around in the produce section, and they generally come in big sealed bags. Your local farmers market or green grocer might be a good bet as well, when they are in season.

Horizontal image of a blue and white patterned plate of arugula with sliced figs and pistachios, with a stainless steel fork on the rim, on a brown wooden table topped partially with a patterned black and white cloth, with scattered nuts and leaves, and a blue glass bowl beside a plate in the background.

Looking for even more salad ideas to indulge in for lunch this week? Here are some of my personal favorites on Foodal:

Have you had pea shoots in a salad before? Tell us about it in the comments below, and be sure to rate this recipe after you try it.

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on April 16, 2013. Last updated: September 20, 2019 at 18:15 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

21 thoughts on “Peppery, Sweet, and Crunchy: Arugula Dijon Salad with Figs, Pistachios, and Pea Shoots”

  1. I love both fall and spring, but spring is especially aesthetic for me–the colors popping up out of no where catch my eye and help me to see things in a totally new way, noticing details that previously blurred together.

    • I like what you wrote about the colors catching your eye and showing you details previously blurred together, Lindsey–that’s lovely!

  2. Such a lovely post. I adore anything with figs and/or pistachios. I love that this salad has just four ingredients – it lets the beauty of them just sing!

  3. I agree with Julius about spring 100%, it´s my favorite season because it´s a synomym of life starting. But I know most people find fall to be their favorite. Both are amazing, and a salad with a bit of everything is too. I have such a deep love for pistachios, figs and arugula!

  4. Mark me down as another fall-lover-who’s-falling-for-spring! And the salad looks marvelous… arugula is one of my favorite greens. 🙂

    • I love the thought of the two of us enjoying spring from our separate cities. Makes them feel less separate to me. : )

  5. On the opposite side of the world I am watching the leaves turn back to their true selves, and the sky grows more impossibly blue as the chill of autumn mornings creeps into the air. Although I do love spring and the promise of a long hot summer to come, autumn is my favourite time of year. Warm days rather than hot, and cool nights where steaming bowls of soup are welcomed to warm fingers, and snuggling with my beloved on the couch while we read. However, I think this salad would be welcomed at any time of the year. Enjoy the spring blossoms Shanna 🙂

    • Amy, What lovely images you’ve written here! It still amazes me that, right now, it’s fall somewhere. Amazes me and makes me wish to visit Australia one of these springs. : ) Delighted to think of us both enjoying our different seasons at the same time and talking about them here!

  6. This is everything I want right now. I’ve been trying to find figs for months but I guess its just not time yet in SoCal. Love them just drizzled with honey/feta/mint/pistachios and eaten as a snack.

  7. This sounds (and looks) like a wonderful salad. I hope you don’t mind me translating the recipe to swedish? Of course I’ll link back to you.

    And by the way, this is one beautiful blog!

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