Watermelon Cucumber Salad w/Balsamic Roasted Figs
with goat cheese, toasted pecans and a Rosemary Thyme Sweet Hot Pepper Vinaigrette
If a salad could be orgasmic, this would definitely be the one. The marriage of flavors, textures and colors in this salad are totally incredible together. It’s got crunch from the cucumbers, sweet juiciness and a softer crunch from the watermelon, creaminess from the goat cheese, and then the soft roasted figs on top with a bit of zing and earthiness from the dressing. The toasted pecans compliment everything. It’s simply brilliant. I was in a state of total bliss from the first bite.
The watermelon is in itself very special because it’s an orange watermelon from my dad’s garden. Don’t get me wrong–I love red watermelon and yellow watermelon, but the orange ones have a perfect balance of juice and crunch and the color is so beautiful. We’ve only had a few watermelons from Dad’s garden this year, and only one small one was orange. I inhaled half of it immediately when I first cut it open. Then my daughter ate the rest–I just asked her to save me one slice so I could make a salad with it. I chanced upon the fresh figs from my yoga friend Jan. I have the BEST friends! (and family–thanks Dad for the watermelon and mom for the cucumber!)
- 2 Tablespoons hot pepper jelly (I used my Five Alarm Apple Hot Pepper Jam - recipe here)
- 3 Tablespoons white wine or champagne vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- A small sprig of fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine
- A small sprig of fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 2 fresh ripe figs
- A bit of balsamic vinegar
- Some mixed greens (to make a bed for the salad)
- About 1 heaping cup chopped, seeded watermelon chunks
- About 1/2 cup peeled, chopped English cucumber
- 1 - 2 Tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
- 1 - 2 Tablespoons toasted pecan pieces
- In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Cut the figs lengthwise, then cut each half into four pieces. Spray an oven safe bowl with cooking spray (or use a baking sheet if you are making lots of salads). Drizzle the figs with balsamic vinaigrette and set in the oven. Set the figs in the oven to roast for about 7 minutes or until tender.
- Make a light bed of greens for the salad. In a small mixing bowl, toss together the watermelon with the cucumber and set them on the bed of greens. Top with the roasted figs.
- Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese and pecan pieces, then drizzle (lightly) with the dressing and enjoy!
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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