Have you ever had watermelon salad?
The first time I had it was at a backyard BBQ when Honey brought it. Never, EVER had I had watermelon and feta in the same dish. It was DIVINE.
So divine, in fact, that I make this dish a variety of ways. (You haven’t LIVED until you’ve had a watermelon wedge drizzled with bluecheese.)
A lovely friend made watermelon salad skewers and it got me thinking…what could I do with CANTALOUPE? A few days later, I was asked to cater a birthday party and the cantaloupe & cucumber salad skewer was born.
This refreshing appetizer received RAVING reviews and had me wanting more for a weekend cookout…but, I used ALL of my skewers for the previous event. On that day, my famous Cantaloupe & Cucumber salad was born.
I’m not going to lie, when I tell people about this salad, I usually receive some crazy looks so it’s not a recipe I often share. A few weeks ago, I was asked to do a cooking demonstration for the Tomball Farmer’s Market...and guess what happened to be in season at the same time? Red Onion, Cantaloupe & Cucumber from Rainsong Farms and Lemon Basil from Buckets of Blooms.
My Favorite secret Ingredient … Lemon Basil
Lemon Basil??? What is LEMON BASIL???
Ok, so don’t panic. You can still make this recipe with ‘regular’ basil.
Lemon Basil is just a pure, clean lemon flavor. It is very crisp an gives your taste buds a light ZING! I, (kinda) accidently grew some from seed a few years ago and it has become one of my favorite herbs. I’m not sure what it is but cantaloupe and lemon basil are AMAZING together. I LOVE cantaloupe smoothie bowls with a touch of lemon basil. It is the BEST breakfast for a hot Southern Summer.
When I learned that Jess with Buckets of Blooms was growing lemon basil this season, I knew the stars aligned. And, guess what??? While i thought I would be the star of the market…this salad was!!
Last week, Jess shared some of her harvest with our co-op members and I sent them to their kitchens with the recipe! I KNOW you, too, will LOVE this crave worthy Summer Salad! With (or, without) the lemon basil!
BTW, Shout out to Jess at Buckets of Blooms for capturing such BEAUTIFUL pics of my salad!!!
One of my favorite thing about fresh, locally grown ingredients is the superior flavor that you can only get when freshly harvested. When your ingredients are amazing, you need fewer ingredients and a little spice, salt, pepper, oil & vinegar to make a dish SING!
Cantaloupe & Cumber Summer Salad
- 1 whole cantaloupe Peeled, seeded & chopped
- 1 whole cucumber Chopped
- 1/2 onion, red thinly sliced (or Chopped)
- 1 TBSP White Wine Vinegar
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 bunch fresh basil (Lemon Basil if you have it!) Chopped (or, Chiffonade)
- Peed de-seed and chop 1 whole cantaloupe
- Chop cucumber (de-seed if preferred.) SEE NOTES BELOW IF CUCUMBERS MAKE YOU BURP!
- Thinly Slice red onion.
- Chop Basil.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle vinegar and oil.
- Add freshly cracked pepper. (Shaken pepper will be fine. I just LOVE my pepper grinder.)
- Stir in Fresh Basil.
- PRO TIPS:-Chill for an hour or so to allow the flavors to meld.-Craving something salty? Add feta!-Craving something sweet? Drizzle some local honey!
- A NOTE ON FRESH PEPPER GRINDERS:-A pepper mill is not a necessity BUT a good pepper grinder is a game changer for any home chef.
Looking to add an extra level of flavor? ADD CHEESE!!
I’ve had this cantaloupe salad with both feta and mozzarella and, let me tell you…BOTH are amazing. I’ve found mozzarella goes best with skewers or caprese style and feta goes best in a traditional salad.