Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Melon Cucumber Salad with Lime and Mint


This is So Cal Summer Salads, the Fruit Version!  With only four ingredients summer doesn't get more simple, and the flavor is incredibly beautiful.  Oh yes, this salad just sings.   


During the summer months, it is really no surprise to see various salads with melon and fruits; watermelons, cantaloupes, and honeydew are at their peak, and a cool, sweet slice is astonishingly satisfying on a hot summer day.  I think it is natural to want to combine the light sugary taste from the melons with complementary ingredients, and the most common paring seems to be watermelon and cucumber.  I can remember a salad I ate last summer where I enjoyed a cucumber and melon salad with tsatziki and it was an elegant and simple lunch.  Plus, the bright red color of watermelon just makes me smile.    




But I like to expand my horizons, and I am always out to change up things and try different produce.  That is why I get so excited every summer for those 3 or 4 weeks when my local Henry's Farmer Market features some more "exotic" melons.  Some of them have been grown right here in California, but many of them come across the border from Mexico.  My favorites so far are Canary, Casaba, and Santa Claus-have any of you ever tried these varieties?




All three of these melons have more dense flesh, similar to honeydew or cantaloupe, and unlike watermelon.  They also have all their seeds in a hollow in the center, so that means you have loads of fruit that you can chop into bite-sized pieces for your next summer picnic or afternoon snack.  The Canary and the Casaba melon are definitely more sweet than the Santa Claus, but you should give all three varieties a try if you get the chance. 




For this salad, the melon is really the star; in fact, it is primarily because the melon had a flavor that was just SO incredible that I opted to merely dress it up with some lime and mint and pair it with cucumber.  When you have a fresh, high quality ingredient, I find that it is often best to let it shine and carry the dish.  Since you MUST have a sweet melon to make a dish like this really taste good, hurry up and get going while melons are in season!  Find one of these lovely varieties or get yourself a cantaloupe or honeydew; but whatever you find, it needs to taste so good a bite makes you close your eyes and just sigh with pure, simple pleasure.   




To me this salad really has the essence of summer. If you are looking for something light, healthy, and cool as a cucumber (yes, pun intended) this salad will be your new favorite. 










Melon Cucumber Salad with Lime and Mint


1 medium canary or casaba melon (cantaloupe or honeydew; any melon with dense, sweet flesh should do)
2 english cucumbers
3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
Juice from 3 limes


Cut the flesh of the melon away from the rind, and chop into 1 inch square pieces.  Slice off the skins from the cucumbers, then cut them in half lengthwise, and chop them into roughly 1/2 inch thick slices.  Toss the melon and cucumber pieces together with the mint and lime juice.  Let marinate in the fridge for about 30 minutes, or eat it immediately if you cant resist. :)

38 comments:

  1. Great recipe! I've had this combination of ingredients in a cocktail before, so I can just imagine how deliciously refreshing they must be as a salad.

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  2. Wow-that salad looks amazing! Maybe I'll make it for an upcoming party I'm having-thanks for idea!

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  3. What a refreshing, healthy recipe!

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  4. This looks so delicious and refreshing...beautiful pics!

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  5. Looks delicious for a summer picnic

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  6. I don't think there's a better way to cool down on a day like today than by making this beautiful salad. I think these flavors are just perfect together. I've been adding mint to everything and I'm so glad to have another dish to put it in. Thanks!

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  7. You come up with the best summer salads and this is no exception. It looks wonderful! I love the simplicity of it.

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  8. I make something similar and it's so good. Don't you just love melon & mint? And just melon all alone? I swear I'd eat a whole melon if it didn't make my stomach hurt. I need you to come make summer salads for me, and uh, I'll come make main dishes?

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  9. JUST made something like this...great minds! So refreshing and light--love it!

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  10. I've never tried canary or casaba melons, I need to give it a try while they're still in season. The sweet melon with the tart lime must be wonderful!

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  11. Definitely love this salad. I have mint on my list for another recipe and will have to use the leftovers for this! I'm tempted to put mint in the garden again, but it grew, and grew and grew, then turned up in other areas... might have to just buy some.

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  12. I was just posting about cucumber and lime. It's my childhood beverage, cucumber limeade.

    Your recipe looks so good

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  13. This looks delicious! Now I'm starting to wonder if I could find these melons in Central Texas.. the salad looks so refreshing!

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  14. You've given us a perfect summer salad that I can't wait to try. I looks delicious. I love the crunch the cucumber adds to your salad. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  15. Lovely! I love the specks of mint throughout the salad. Must give this a try during the heat wave!

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  16. A wonderfully fresh salad! That is an interesting combination.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  17. This looks like the perfect summer salad! I love the combination of lime and mint :)

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  18. What a beautiful and refreshing dish! I am declaring August the month of non-cooking cooking- simple preparations, crazy delicious summer harvest ingredients! This fits right into my program :)

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  19. What a perfect and lovely summer salad...Those melon varieties are so great and so much fun to utilize in a variety of summer fare:)

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  20. Beautiful salad! Honeydew and cucumber are such a great combo because they are so similar yet different. I've got a pizza place by me that puts honeydew in their regular tossed salad. I always thought they were trying to be sneaky and pass it off as cucumber, but it turns out he does it on purpose!

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  21. I've never thought of combining these ingredients, but it looks great and refreshing, I will try it!

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  22. This looks so fresh. I would love to get a bite of this!!

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  23. Sounds like the perfect summer salad - refreshing and simple! That's a great flavor combo.

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  24. Wow, this screams yummy and refreshing, perfect for summer, indeed. Beautiful!

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  25. Simply lovely! Perfect for summer. I've never tried the Canary but I saw it today at the market and was wondering how it tasted. I think I'll go back and buy one. :)

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  26. Totally my type of fruit salad! Simple, and delicious!

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  27. So refreshing for summer ! I make something similar to this but it includes feta different melons.

    Could definitely take a bite of this now :)

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  28. Ooh, you should add this to my New Food Friday roundup! It looks delicious.

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  29. yes this salad sings! beautiful fresh ingredients mixed together, the mint always adds a wonderful taste to any fruit based salad. Beautiful!

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  30. I just happened upon your great blog. I love the photos and super recipes. I'm your newest follower.

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  31. what a refreshing salad..and with all the fresh melons, its perfect timing! We love canary melons and have been enjoying them for the past few weeks...they would be perfect in your salad!

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  32. Yum! I really hope the melons are ready around here, it's so frustrating that Nova Scotia's produce is about 2 weeks behind the rest of the continent! This is just lovely and I am definitely going to make this ... sometime soon.

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