Refreshing Cucumber, Melon Salad with Fig Vinaigrette

A fresh cucumber and melon and you’re on your way too this refreshing twist of a salad.

Cucumber melon saladCucumber, Melon Salad with Fig Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS
For the salad:
  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced
  • 2 cups of cantaloupe (honey dew will work too), chopped
  • 4 oz of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • ¼ cup fennel, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablepspoons of mixed nuts  (almonds, walnuts and cashews)
  • 1 Tablespoon of pesto * see notes below

fig dressing For the dressing:

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon aged Fig Balsamic Vinegar *
  • ½ teaspoon honey
DIRECTIONS
  1. Layer melon and cucumber onto a serving platter.
  2. Top with an even distribution of cheese and fennel.
  3. Sprinkle on nuts.
  4. Add bits of pesto throughout.
  5. Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking the oil, balsamic, seasalt and honey.
  6. Serve dressing on side to add as desired.

* NOTES

  • If you don’t have Fig Balsamic Vinegar: In a high speed blender add combine 3-4 dried figs with ⅓ – ½ cup balsamic vinegar and puree until smooth. Or simply use Balsamic and add chopped figs to the salad.
  • I love to create my own pesto using my favorite ingredients –
    • Heather’s Pesto
      • 2 cups Basil (although I’ve been know to substitute Spinach in a pinch) – it’s best to blanch** quickly in order to keep the pretty green color
      • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces)
      • 1/2 cup olive oil
      • 1/2 cup walnuts
      • 3 cloves of garlic
      • Salt and pepper to taste
    • In a food processor grate the cheese, then toss in the garlic, add the nuts, add the basil and olive oil.
    • I don’t measure and add more nuts or cheese depending upon my food.  No matter what combination of ingredients you use, it will be a perfect pesto.

How to Blanch: Prepare a bowl of ice water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the basil or other leafy green into the boiling water.  Push the leaves down into the water and stirring them so they blanch evenly. Blanch for no more than 15 seconds, then plunge the herbs into the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain immediately, squeeze the herbs dry, and roughly chop.