Hang onto summer just a little longer with this sweet and savory cantaloupe and fig salad with olives, feta, and fresh herbs. With just a handful of ingredients, you can toss this gorgeous salad together in minutes.
Savory, Sweet, and Delicious!
Savory sweet cantaloupe and fig salad has it all – it’s easy to throw together and makes a gorgeous centerpiece for a late summer feast. The mix of cantaloupe and figs may seem unorthodox, but tossed with buttery Castelvetrano olives, briny feta, and a mix of mint and basil, the fruit takes on a savory depth. It’s the perfect dish to make and share at late summer or Labor Day gatherings!
Sourcing the Best Produce
With such a simple list of ingredients, it’s important that each element shine. Use the ripest, sweetest cantaloupe you can get. Select a fragrant, heavy-feeling cantaloupe or ask a farmer if you’re not sure which one to pick. I’d say the same about the figs, but we all know that unless you have a tree of your own, figs can be hard to track down. Even so, try to source them locally at a farmers market rather than at the grocery store – they’ll be fresher and have much better flavor. Pro tip: when sourcing fruit in the late summer and early fall, I find the sweetest, ripest fruits by (cautiously) following the bees.
The Simplest Dressing
In place of a more formal dressing, the salad is finished with a big squeeze of lemon (which also keeps the figs from browning) and a generous drizzle of olive oil. As the salad is prepped, each layer should be sprinkled with flaky salt. I’ve found cantaloupe and figs need a good amount of salt for the flavor to pop against the more assertive savory elements, so just keep tasting and adding sprinkles of salt until you achieve the right balance.
The salad is best after a couple hours in the fridge, so make it ahead if you have time. Leftover will keep pretty well in the fridge for a day, though the herbs may brown a bit.
Hang onto summer just a little longer with this sweet and savory cantaloupe and fig salad with feta and fresh herbs. With just a handful of ingredients, you can toss this gorgeous salad together in minutes.
Use a vegetable brush to thoroughly scrub the outside of your cantaloupe before slicing.
- 1/2 a medium cantaloupe
- 12 ripe figs, stems trimmed and halved
- Flaky salt, such as Diamond Crystal kosher or sea salt
- 1/2 cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted and halved
- 1 tablespoon sliced shallots
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup basil leaves, torn or sliced into ribbons
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
- 1/2 a lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Black pepper
Scoop the seeds from the cantaloupe and discard. Set cantaloupe cut side down, and carefully slice off the rind, leaving as much cantaloupe behind as you can. Once peeled, cut the cantaloupe into 1/4-inch thick wedges. Arrange on a large serving platter and sprinkle with salt.
Sprinkle the halved figs with salt. Tuck the figs and olives all around the cantaloupe. Add the shallots, feta, and herbs and toss gently. Squeeze the lemon over the salad, making sure to get some on all the figs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then drizzle on the olive oil. Taste, and add more salt or olive oil as needed. Finish with lots of freshly cracked black pepper.
If you have time, set in the fridge to chill for an hour or two. Leftovers will keep pretty well in the fridge for a day, though the herbs may brown a bit.