Watermelon fig salad with…pesto!

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So, as I mentioned in my last post (my pesto recipe), today I am sharing a less traditional way to enjoy your pesto. I love the sweet, summery flavors of watermelon and fig. But I also have a particular appreciation for the way that saltiness and sweetness can play off and enhance each other (so yes, I am a hopeless fan of salted caramel ice cream, dark chocolate covered pretzels etc)…I have tried some wonderful salads that juxtapose sweety juicy watermelon with sharp salty feta cheese for example. But how about something equally exciting and dairy free?

In addition to being a party in your mouth, this salad is also pretty to look at, and would make a wonderful starter or palate cleanser or even a light and unusual dessert! This recipe makes two small salads and is easy to scale up…and did I mention it’s super duper easy?

Finally, as a side note, I can’t resist sharing a few tidbits about the fascinating fig, since I actually spent some time working on a fig farm during college! The fig (Ficus carica) was one of the first plants cultivated by humans. They are one of the richest sources of fiber and calcium in the plant world. And the “fruit” of the fig is actually a container for the fig’s flowers, which are found on the inside. Cool, right?

Ingredients:

  • 2 2-inch thick ripe watermelon wedges (pictured here is a mini seedless watermelon)
  • 8 ripe black mission figs (they have a sweet, honey-like flavor…you can also use ripe green figs if they are nice and sweet!)
  • About 3 Tbsp worth of fresh pesto

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Slice the watermelon wedges free from their peels and then slice the wedges perpendicular to their peels to make 1/2 inch thick triangular wedges. Slice the figs in half.

Arrange the watermelon wedges on a pretty plate, with fig slices in between. Now, use a teaspoon to place a small dollop of pesto on top of each watermelon slice. Serve cold.

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