New recipes and updates

Get new recipes
in your inbox

Cuisine Fiend

Find a recipe by ingredient

Tomato and fig salad

Updated: Thu, 27 April, 2023

Tomato and fig salad with balsamic dressing and crumbled blue cheese is an example of wonderful food pairing – it’s a real burst of flavours.

tomato and fig salad

Match your foods

Good pairing is an art, as matchmakers very well know (or is it ‘coupling facilitation consultants’ now?). In food, as in a relationship, compatibility is important and the superficially similar do not always make the best bedfellows. Whoever first thought of spreading animal fat on baked grain dough was undoubtedly a genius – bread and butter seems natural now but I bet it hadn’t always been so.

Tomatoes are like those easy-going types that will get on well with anyone. In fact possibly only chocolate won’t make a good pair with them, and not because they don’t do sweet, ketchup my witness. Chocolate generally doesn’t work with vegetables and fruit that masquerade as vegetables, our hero being one of those.

But other than that, you can throw them at various foodstuffs with impunity and they won’t suffer rejection.


Taste bomb

This is a particularly well-matched couple: tomatoes and figs. Blue cheese adds a salty touch, otherwise it would be too much of a Mills & Boone book cover.

I’ve found the idea in the NY Times Cooking and one of the commenters underneath the recipe calls the combination a ‘taste bomb’. They aren’t wrong.

Of course, like with most salads and especially featuring tomatoes, it’s essential to have them ripe and fresh. No use trying to make this salad with sad and watery, air-flown fruit in the middle of the winter.

Anyway, you wouldn’t find many figs at that time of year. Figs wonderfully self-regulate their seasonality and no figs grow in the southern hemisphere!

I actually prefer my figs firm and not overripe – they have better colour then as well. And I love the way they look, slightly obscene, justly associated with sexuality in many cultures.


Salad as main course

Personally, in summer I like to have this kind of a dish as a main course for lunch or even dinner. The blue cheese adds some bulk and protein, and if you had some good bread on the side, what more would you want?

Well, if you did want something more, you could sprinkle some mixed seeds over the salad or add croutons made from stale bread, diced and toasted with olive oil or butter.

And the type of cheese is your choice: I love Roquefort but if you prefer it less pungent and less, hmm, French, use nice and ripe Stilton.

The dressing is very simple but worth chalking down for another occasion, as it will enliven a boring green salad, too. Good balsamic vinegar with twice as much olive oil, plus some lemon juice to emulsify it and a drop of honey, to bump up the sweetness.

tomatoes and figs with blue cheese

More tomato salad recipes

Creamed sweetcorn with blue cheese served with tomatoes. This recipe for tomatoes with creamed cheesy corn is one of the best summery combinations. Easy creamed corn ready in minutes, seasoned with blue cheese and black pepper.

Tomato nun, la religieuse de tomate, is an exquisite appetiser of cold, uncooked tomato stuffed with pesto-flavoured burrata cheese.

Whipped feta and hazelnut dip is heavenly spooned on cherry tomato halves. Snacking does not get much healthier than this!

More fig recipes

Baked figs with blue cheese, a drop of honey and a drizzle of balsamic can be a gorgeous starter, side dish, lunch or even a healthy dessert.

Saganaki is a Greek dish of anything cooked and served in a small skillet, with cheese saganaki the most popular. This recipe for fried saganaki feta with caramelised figs is dead simple and makes a super tasty snack or appetiser.

Fresh fig confit recipe; confiture made with fresh figs, with whole chunks of figs in syrup made with port or madeira wine. This fig confit is more versatile than jam; use it with cheese and meats. Fig confit will keep two weeks in the fridge.

ripe tomato and fresh fig salad

Tomato and fig salad

Servings: 4Time: 10 minutes
Rating: (1 reviews)


  • 500g (1 pound) fresh ripe tomatoes, mixed varieties
  • 4-5 fresh figs
  • 50g (4oz.) blue cheese (Stilton or Roquefort)
  • a sprig of thyme
  • For the dressing:
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil


1. Slice the larger tomatoes thinly, halve the cherry or plum ones and arrange them all on a plate.

2. Top and quarter the figs, and scatter them over tomatoes. Strip leaves off the thyme sprig and sprinkle over salad. Scatter crumbled blue cheese.

3. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and drizzle over the salad.

Originally published: Mon, 18 September, 2017

NEW recipe finder

Ingredients lying around and no idea what to cook with them? Then use my NEW Recipe Finder for inspiration!

Recipe Finder

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published

Characters left 800
Recipe rating
Email address*
Web site name
Be notified by email when a comment is posted

* required

Your comments

Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Joan - aren't you lucky to have both tomatoes and figs growing in plenty! I'm envious - but very pleased you enjoyed the salad.
8 months ago
Joan Parker
I would not have thought that the unlikely duo of tomatoes and figs—both of which my farm is producing in abundance right now—would make such satisfying music together. I made myself a sample prior to taking this dish to a luncheon, and I am instantly a believer. Simple— but with the dressing combo, dynamic. Exactly right as is.
8 months ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Sheena - I'd be careful with capers as they can take over a salad; maybe just add a few, well rinsed, to the dressing. Goats cheese instead of blue works too if you have any, or ricotta at a push. But even with no cheese I'm sure you enjoy the tom and fig combo.
4 years ago
Instead of blue cheese can I use capers to add a salty touch? Looking forward to making this but no blue cheese
4 years ago

Cuisine Fiend's

most recent

About me

Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


Sign up to receive the weekly recipes updates

Follow Fiend