Refreshing Cucumber Melon Salad for Summer

Cucumber Melon Salad with Fig & Honey Vinaigrette

PHOTO: Courtesy of Lauren O'Connor |

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.

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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


  1. Layer cucumber and cantaloupe onto a serving platter.
  2. 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.

Lauren O’Connor, MS, RDN, RYT is a Los Angeles based registered dietitian, yoga teacher and founder of Nutri Savvy Health. She authors her own blog, is a health writer, menu developer and nutritional consultant with articles and recipes in numerous publications including Food & Nutrition magazine, Shape, Redbook, Livestrong, AZCentral and DietsinReview.