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Fig Salad with Mozzarella and Melon

Simple, fresh, and light, this beautiful summer salad is perfect for entertaining.

With only a handful of ingredients, my easy Fig Salad with Mozzarella and Melon is bursting with delicious flavor. Make it now while fresh figs are in season — it’s absolutely delicious!

Simple and elegant — and similar to caprese salad — today’s fig salad may be served as a light lunch, a side salad, or even as an appetizer.

Although dried figs are readily available year-round, at my market fresh figs are a rare find. So last week when I spied a box of beautiful figs, I just had to have them! Juicy and sweet, fresh figs are good for snacking, in salads, as a yogurt topping, for making jam, and so much more!

If you like this fig salad, you’ll love my cantaloupe prosciutto antipasti, too!

fig salad with fresh mozzarella and cantaloupe in a shallow white bowl on a table.

Key ingredients and substitutions for Fig Salad

  • Fresh figs — The star ingredient, fresh figs are typically in season beginning with an early crop during the first couple of weeks in June. The next harvest is available August through October.
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese — Creamy and mild, fresh mozzarella complements the sweetness of the figs without overpowering their flavor. You could use dollops of ricotta cheese or a mild goat cheese instead.
  • Cantaloupe — This may be a surprising combination, but cantaloupe and figs work together very well. If you’d like to add even more color, toss in a few red raspberries or seedless grapes.
  • Fresh basil leaves — There’s just something about using fresh herbs that elevates any dish.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil — Opt for a good quality olive oil since it singularly acts as the dressing for this salad.

How do I make fig salad with mozzarella and melon?

process steps for preparing fig salad: cut figs into quarters; crumble fresh mozzarella into a bowl; add cantaloupe and figs; add basil leaves, salt, and pepper.

STEP 1 | Prep the figs and melon

Wash the figs under cool water and gently pat dry with paper towels. Figs are entirely edible, but you’ll want to trim off the tough stem on the end. Slice each fig through the stem end into quarters.

Use a melon baller to scoop out half of a small cantaloupe. If you don’t have a melon baller, just cut the cantaloupe into small uniform pieces.

STEP 2 | Assemble the salad

Break up the fresh mozzarella into small pieces and scatter into a large salad bowl or plater. Nestle the pieces of figs and melon between the mozzarella. Add more freshness, by sprinkling fresh basil on top. If the basil leaves are large, tear them into small pieces.

drizzling olive oil into a bowl of fig salad.

STEP 3 | Season and serve

Finish the salad by seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper — the salt really enhances the flavor of all the ingredients! Next, drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the entire salad and serve immediately.

tips

  • If you like, use fresh mozzarella pearls instead breaking up a mozzarella ball. Either works!
  • A ripe cantaloupe should give off a sweet aroma. Besides giving it the sniff test, one way to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe is when it has a beige color under the webby outer layer. If it’s still green, the cantaloupe is definitely not ready.

fig salad with fresh mozzarella and cantaloupe in a shallow white bowl on a table.

Frequently asked questions

Can this salad be made ahead of time?

You can certainly prep the cantaloupe ahead of time, but the rest of this salad should be made just before serving. If the cantaloupe has been scooped out already, you can easily make this salad table side.

How can you tell if a fig is ripe?

Ripe figs should be slightly soft to the touch, but not mushy or hard, and the stem should still be intact. Figs are one of the most perishable fruits, so you’ll want to use them within a couple of days of purchase.

Do I have to use cantaloupe in this salad?

If you’re not a fan of cantaloupe, fig salad is delicious with or without the melon!

a bowl with fig salad and a gold fork on a linen napkin on a table.

Serving suggestion

Sometimes I add a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar on top of my fig salad, but be careful not to do too much or it may overpower the other flavors. Also, adding diced, crispy pancetta or prosciutto adds a nice salty-sweet dimension to the dish.

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Yield: 4 servings

Fig Salad with Mozzarella and Melon

fig salad with fresh mozzarella and cantaloupe in a shallow white bowl on a table.

With only a handful of ingredients, this Fig Salad is bursting with delicious flavor. Make it when fresh figs are in season — it's absolutely delicious!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 fresh figs
  • 1/2 small cantaloupe
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Wash the figs under cool water and gently pat dry with a paper towel. Trim off the stem of each fig and cut into quarters.
  2. Use a melon baller to scoop out the cantaloupe or cut into small 1-inch pieces.
  3. Break the fresh mozzarella into small pieces and scatter into a large salad bowl or plater. Nestle the pieces of figs and melon between the mozzarella. Add the fresh basil — if the leaves are large, tear into small pieces.
  4. Season the salad with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Drizzle with the olive oil and serve immediately.

Notes

  • To prep the salad ahead of time, scoop out the cantaloupe and store in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the salad.
  • Fresh mozzarella pearls may be used in place of a mozzarella ball.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 225mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 3gSugar: 19gProtein: 6g

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sheila thigpen in her kitchen

Sheila @ Life, Love & Good Food

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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Michaela Kenkel

Thursday 30th of September 2021

Such a gorgeous presentation with this one! I made it last night and not only is it beautiful, but it was also delicious, too!

Kathleen Pope

Monday 27th of September 2021

I love fresh figs, and what a great salad to feature them, so vibrant, tasty and yet so very simple! This is what salads were meant to be!

Erin

Sunday 26th of September 2021

Our little backyard fig tree is finally producing... but we have about 10 figs total, which were PERFECT for this salad! So summery and perfect to enjoy before the seasons change.

Amy Nash

Sunday 26th of September 2021

Such a beautiful, light, and satisfying salad! I would totally just have this for dessert any day!

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