Summer nights are meant for al fresco meals. This cucumber melon salad can offer a refreshing, satisfying end to your day. With crisp, cool cucumber, summer sweet cantaloupe, mozzarella and a sprinkling of pesto, it’s a delicious way to beat the heat.
Cucumber and melon are two of my favorite summer staples. Why? Because I can enjoy cucumber in salads, smoothies, a crudite or simply alone. And cantaloupe in particular has a mild, refreshing sweetness that is perfect for any time I need a little something cooling to eat (and it’s an ingredient you can incorporate into smoothies, too). They’re great alone and amazing together! And when you dress ’em up in a salad like this, you’ve got one dynamic combo!
A Versatile Salad for a Versatile Meal
A melon salad doesn’t have to be simply sweet, it can have a bit of savory, too. This one is simple to make and honestly can be versatile with a change-up in cheese (try feta) and nut/seed combo (lightly salted pumpkin or sunflower seeds can be fun). Make your own homemade vegan pesto — it has few ingredients; and you can make it in a cinch. Or swap out the pesto for fresh chopped basil. As far as the dressing, anything with a bit of tang will do. But this Fig & Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette is pretty darn good.
Serve it up with crunchy croutons or lightly grilled toast and enjoy it with your protein of choice. Seared Ahi would be a delightful, but a simple hard boiled egg will do, too!
Here’s the recipe! Enjoy!
Cucumber Melon Salad with Fig & Honey Vinaigrette
For the Salad:
1 medium cucumber, sliced
2 cups chopped cantaloupe
4 oz of Mozzarella cheese, sliced
¼ cup fresh fennel, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons mixed nuts (such as walnuts, cashews & almonds)
1 Tablespoon of pesto
- Layer cucumber and cantaloupe onto a serving platter.
- Distribute cheese, and nuts and pesto on top.
For the dressing:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon aged Fig Balsamic Vinegar*
½ teaspoon honey
Sea salt to taste
Whisk all ingredients together. Drizzle dressing over prepared salad.
*If you don’t have Fig Balsamic Vinegar: In a high speed blender add combine 2 dried figs with ⅓ – ½ cup balsamic vinegar and puree until smooth. Or simply use Balsamic and add chopped figs to the salad.
This article first appeared on Nutri Savvy Health.