We’re experiencing a heat wave in the San Francisco Bay Area, and for a gal like me who prefers crisp, chilly weather, this is a major pain. These scorchers make it hard for me to sleep during the day, and when I wake up bleary-eyed in the evening, the last thing I want to do is slave over a hot stove. Luckily, this refreshing Fig & Watermelon Salad’s perfect for the final throes of summer.
In California, this is the time of year when both watermelon and figs are in season. (In fact, San Diego’s Fig Fest is today!) Complementing the ripe fruit is the tang of a simple lime vinaigrette and the salty crunch of Porkitos—not to mention the mild sweetness of roasted Honey Vanilla Cashews.
The toasted cashews can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for up to a week. You’ll be tempted to eat the cashews right out of the oven, but make sure you save some for your salads. After all, even though eating a small amount of cashews is totally okay (I’m looking at you, Paleo Police), you should always mind your nuts.
Honey Vanilla Cashews (makes 2 cups)
- 2 cups raw cashews (sprouted and dehydrated if you have the patience and time)
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 tablespoon melted ghee
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Fig & Watermelon Salad with Honey Vanilla Cashews (serves 4)
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 cups mixed lettuce greens
- 8 black mission figs, halved
- ¼ small watermelon, deseeded, rind removed, and thinly sliced
- 2 servings Porkitos (start with 6 ounces prosciutto)
- ½ cup Honey Vanilla Cashews
First things first: Preheat the oven to 350°F so you can bake your sweet-and-savory nuts.
Dump the cashews in a large bowl…
…and add in the honey, ghee, vanilla, and salt.
Mix until well coated. If available, employ child labor.
Spread the sticky nuts in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Pop the tray in the oven for 6 minutes…
…and then stir the nuts around…
…before toasting them for another 6 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove them from the oven to cool on the counter.
In the meantime, bake the Porkitos if you haven’t already.
The zesty lime salad dressing is a breeze to make: In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, and mustard with a pinch of salt and some pepper.
Dump the greens in a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette.
Divide half of the greens onto four plates and cut up the figs and watermelon.
Place half of the fruit on top of the greens, before adding the rest of the greens. Top with the rest of the fruit, crunchy Porkitos, and Honey Vanilla Cashews.
When I plate my salads, I like to layer dressed greens with the other components. That way, you get a taste of all the ingredients with each bite. The one exception? Crunchy ingredients (e.g. Porkitos, bacon bits, nuts, etc.), which go on top. I add ‘em last so they stay crispity-crunchity.
Grind on some black pepper and dig in!