Diana doesn’t like melon. I don’t understand this. They’re a sweet, refreshing Summer treat. Of course, she doesn’t understand why I don’t like peaches and nectarines, but this isn’t about me. This is about Diana. And melons. And the local paper. The Oregonian runs a weekly section called Food Day. Not surprisingly, it’s all about food. Cooking it, procuring it, serving it. All about food.
Last week they did an article on melon. Cantaloupe, specifically. There were a few recipes that I liked and one in particular stood out for me. It sounded not only delicious, but also like something that maybe I could get Diana to try. Sadly, it had ingredients that were SCD verboten. As us SCD’ers often must, I took the spirit of the recipe and riffed on it, making something similar but not identical. Voila! We had a delicious zippy melon and cucumber salad with fresh mint. It was scrumptious! And wouldn’t ya know…. even Diana liked it! If your local grocery store has some cantaloupe as amazingly, wonderfully juicy and sweet as the one I got at my local New Seasons, I’d highly encourage you to give this a try! Recipe follows after the jump.
Zippy Melon and Cucumber Salad
This salad is a refreshing Summer treat! Serve it with some grilled fish or orange-glazed pork chops for a healthy, light dinner.
- 1/2 large cantaloupe (or a whole small one)
- 1 English cucumber (a standard one will work… I’m just partial to the English variant)
- Fresh mint
- Brown rice vinegar (apple cider vinegar would also be good)
- Chili flakes
- salt and pepper (optional)
First make the dressing, so it can start to coalesce. I’ll mention some amounts in here, but in the spirit of riffing, assume that everything is followed by “… or to taste”. This recipe is super flexible. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with a teaspoon of honey. Taste it. Do you like the balance? If not, adjust accordingly until you do. Finely chiffonade the mint leaves. Maybe a scant 1/4 cup’s worth? Mix into the dressing. Add chili flakes to taste… 1/8-1/4 tsp? Err on the safe side here! If desired, add salt and pepper to taste. Set dressing aside.
Peel the cantaloupe, making sure to remove all the green flesh, then scoop out the seeds and webbing. Cut into bite-sized pieces and place in serving bowl. Peel the cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, and then into thin slices. Add to serving bowl. Add dressing to serving bowl and toss gently but thoroughly. The flavor of this salad really develops the longer it sits, so if you can prepare it an hour or two before hand and let it rest in the fridge, it’ll be perfect!! Do you know any melon haters? See if you can talk them into giving this a try!