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A refreshing Cantaloupe Salad with mint, lime, and pepitas with optional crumbled feta (optional) – a tasty healthy summer salad, perfect for potlucks and gatherings.
When you cut into a perfectly ripe cantaloupe, what you’ll notice first is its fragrance: honey-scented, floral and slightly musky. You’ll know you picked a good one if its juicy and well-hydrated on the inside. Finding the perfect cantaloupe is the secret to this Cantaloupe Salad recipe, and most often you’ll find the best ones at your local farmers market.
Cantaloupes let you know when they are ripe for the picking, because the vine naturally slips from the fruit when it’s time to harvest. You’ll also notice the skin will turn creamy-beige under the “netted” pattern on the melon.
When ripe, their sweet smell will permeate the rind. If you can’t smell it, it isn’t ripe. When they are ripe, they are heavenly!
So be sure to look for the creamy beige color under the “netting” and give them a sniff. Often conventional grocery store cantaloupes are picked “green”, so if this your only option, try letting the cantaloupe ripen on the counter for a few days until it turns creamy and fragrant. The salad will be much better, I promise!
Finally, if you cut into a cantaloupe and it has any sour or astringent notes, it is past it’s prime. To stop a cantaloupe from ripening further, place it in the fridge.
This salad is made with ingredients that would pair well with both Mediterranean or Mexican fare. I wanted to keep it pretty universal. Feel free to play with the herbs to achieve your perfect paring. I would serve this salad with grilled things like this Moroccan Chicken, or even something as simple as grilled tacos!
Because every melon is different with different degrees of sweetness, there is a bit of flavor adjusting at the end, adding a bit more lime or sweetness. Find the balance, and you will be happy.
The Cantaloupe salad is also great without the feta, so feel free to leave it off. Sometimes I’ll add cucumber ribbons so feel free to add if so inclined!
I hope these warm summer days are treating you well. Let the sunlight permeate the ground of your being.
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Cantaloupe Salad Recipe
- Prep Time: 20
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 8-10 1x
- Category: 77428
- Method: tossed
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
A refreshing Cantaloupe Salad with Mint, Lime and Pepitas and optional crumbled feta (optional) – a tasty healthy summer salad, perfect for potlucks and gatherings.
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely sliced
- a bowl of cold salted water ( 1 teaspoon salt per cup of water)
- 1 medium cantaloupe (3-3.25lb) rind and seeds removed.
- 1/2 a jalapeno chili, very finely diced ( 1–2 tablespoons)
- zest from 1 small lime
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, more to taste
- 1 teaspoon honey (or vegan alternative like agave)
1 teaspoon ground coriander, or crushed, toasted wholes seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin, or crushed, toasted wholes seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2–1 teaspoon aleppo chili flakes ( optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped mint
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 1/4 –1/2 cup raw or roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta (optional- ok to leave vegan)
- light dusting of Aleppo Chili flakes
Place sliced onions in a bowl of generously salted, cold water. Set aside. ( To remove bitterness)
Cut cantaloupe in half, spoon out seeds, cut into large wedges, and remove rind with a paring knife. Slice each wedge into 1/2 inch thin slices. Then cut slices into 1-inch, bite-size, triangular pieces and place in a big wide flat serving dish ( or bowl). Add jalapeno, drain the onions and scatter over top, and add the lime zest.
Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Toss with the cantaloupe. Taste for acid and salt and honey. Every melon is different with various degrees of sweetness. If too sweet, add another squeeze of lime, if not sweet enough, perhaps more honey. Adjust to your taste.
Scatter the fresh herbs over top, add the pumpkin seeds and optional feta. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. This salad likes to be cold! Can be made several hours ahead.
Cutting the cantaloupe into thinner pieces rather than “chunks” seems to work better here.
- Serving Size: 1 cup - with the feta
- Calories: 176
- Sugar: 9.7 g
- Sodium: 322.9 mg
- Fat: 13.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 3.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 12.1 g
- Fiber: 1.9 g
- Protein: 4.9 g
- Cholesterol: 8.3 mg
Keywords: cantaloupe salad, cantaloupe salad feta, cantaloupe salad dressing, cantaloupe salad ideas, cantaloupe salad recipes, cantaloupe salad lime
My family loves complex flavors and textures so this salad which is sweet, sour, salty and minty with a touch of heat was a huge hit!
Hello i was makn this salad for a tomorrows theme dinner would it be ok to make it a day early are would is get mushy by the next day..please help lol..concerned cook….
You could cut and assemble everything but wait to add the dressing.
refreshing and delicious. great the next day.
OMG, so good! the whole family loved this salad, even the picky non-melon eater.
This looks so refreshing and delicious. I love cantaloupe, but buying a whole one seems like a waste if my family can’t eat it all right away. I think this salad is going to have to be tried in my family soon!