Four Simple Melon Salads to celebrate laid back summer food ~ make one of these juicy sweet/savory salads for your friends and family, or for a little personal indulgence. No recipes required for this intuitive kind of eating ~ I’ll get you started, but feel free to take it from here.
One of the perks of summer is feeding yourself in fresh new ways. Sometimes it’s as simple as grazing on ripe fruits (over the kitchen sink to catch the juices) or giving yourself permission to have a cool creamy dip for dinner with nothing else but a glass of crisp wine.
Each one of these salads is only minutes away from the table and every one would be a perfect accompaniment to any summer meal. Easier than a green salad, it’s that little unexpected element that takes a meal to a new level. Make them up in big bowls for gatherings, or treat yourself to a single serving for lunch. I loved them all, but my personal fave has to be #3 ~ wow!!
Simple melon salad # 1
Honeydew melon, blueberries, mint, and feta
Inexplicably my husband and 2 daughters aren’t melon lovers. I can’t fathom how that’s even possible, but go figure. This salad is so tempting with the blues and greens, topped with crumbled feta, tiny mint leaves, and a drizzle of fresh lime juice. It would look equally beautiful in a large serving bowl at a picnic or potluck. Honeydew melons can be large, so wrap any leftover melon in plastic and refrigerate.
How to make melon balls:
- A melon baller is one of those tools that you think you don’t need, until you need it. There’s really no other way to make juicy little melon balls. A simple plunge and twist motion makes it easy. They come double sided so you can customize the size. Make them up to a day ahead, and you can sometimes find readymade melon balls in your produce section during the summer melon season.
Simple melon salad #2
Watermelon, cucumber, red onion, and arugula
Did you know that watermelon and cucumber come from the same family? It’s only natural to serve the two together. My cucumber comes from a generous gardening friend, and I bought a large wedge of watermelon from the store…I like to do this when I can’t really use the whole thing. Toss your watermelon cubes with thinly sliced red onion and spoon over baby arugula. Dress lightly with extra virgin olive oil and a fig balsamic vinegar.
How to cut a watermelon into cubes:
- Slice the two ends off of a seedless watermelon. Stand on one end, and slice off the peel cutting straight down along each of four sides. Then slice the rest of the melon in the same manner, into 1 inch slices (or whatever size you’re going to want your cubes.) Then slice each of those large slices into 1 inch strips, and then into 1 inch cubes. For visuals, see my Summer Melon Salad post.
Simple melon salad #3
Honey Kiss melon, prosciutto, lime, and sea salt
Any of the ‘Kiss’ melons are deliciously juicy and super sweet. You’ll only see this hot new variety in high summer, so enjoy them while you can. The sweetness goes so well with salty prosciutto, and I love to shave the melon to match the shape and texture of the delicate ham. This salad needs nothing more than a dose of lime and a sprinkle of sea salt.
How to shave melon into ribbons:
- Slice a melon in quarters and remove the seeds. Slice the quarters into 8ths, and then remove the rind by sliding a small sharp knife along the edge to separate it from the flesh. Use a mandoline slicer set on the 1/8 inch setting to shave the melon. You can also use a sharp cheese shaver.
Simple melon salad #4
Galia melon, kiwi, Serrano pepper and goat cheese
Galia is an Israeli melon that’s actually a cross between a cantaloupe and a honeydew. It’s got a cantaloupe-like flavor, but lighter and juicer. The rind is lemon yellow with netting, and you’ll know when it’s ripe when you can smell the melon aroma at the stem or bottom end (don’t be afraid to sniff your melons.) I made an all green salad to highlight the pale color, with kiwi for sweetness, Serrano pepper for heat, basil leaves because we love basil, and soft goat cheese for a little creaminess. Dress with lemon or lime juice and olive oil.
How to cut melon into bite sized wedges:
- Cut your seeded melon into 8 wedges. Remove the rind from each wedge. Cut each wedge in half crosswise, and then use a small knife to slice each piece into thin wedges.
- 1 cup honeydew melon balls
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- crumbled feta cheese
- mint leaves
- fresh lime juice
- 1 cup watermelon cubes
- 1/4 cup baby arugula
- 1/4 cup cucumber half-moons
- thinly sliced red onion
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- fig balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup shaved Honey Kiss melon
- 1/2 cup prosciutto strips
- fresh lime juice
- sea salt
- 1 cup thin Galia melon spears
- 1 kiwi, peeled, sliced, and cut into quarters
- a few slices of Serrano pepper
- baby basil leaves
- soft goat cheese crumbles
- lemon or lime juice
- olive oil
- For the honeydew salad combine the melon, blueberries, and feta cheese in a small bowl. Top with mint leaves and squeeze lime juice over the top.
- For the watermelon salad put the arugula in the base of a small bowl, and top with the melon, cucumber, and onion slices. Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil and vinegar.
- For the Honey Kiss salad mingle the melon ribbons with the prosciutto in a small bowl. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and squeeze fresh lime juice over it.
- For the Galia salad put the melon and kiwi in a small bowl, top with the pepper slices and basil leaves. Dress with a squeeze of citrus and a drizzle of olive oil.
Feel free to multiply these recipes to feed more people.