Summer Melon Salad

Summer Melon Salad Recipe

I made this quick melon salad with the frog prince of melons - the piel de sapo. It has creamy, sweet, pale green flesh, and a blotched, pebbled green-yellow appearance. Piel de sapo means toad's skin. I bought mine heavy, with streaks of yellow edging out the green on one side - both indicators of ripeness. Summer Melon Salad Recipe
If you come across one of these hefty summer gems, spring for it. I wasn't sorry. Combined with some toasted almonds for crunch, serrano chiles and scallions to counter the sweet, small dollops of crème fraîche, cilantro, and a wash of sake, it's a summer refresher. Particularly if you take the time to chill the melon all the way down just before serving.Summer Melon Salad Recipe
I should also mention, you can make the salad even if you can't source this particular melon - sweet honeydew or cantaloupe would both be A+ substitutions.Summer Melon Salad Recipe

Summer Melon Salad

5 from 1 vote

  • 1 honeydew, cantaloupe, piel de sapo, or other musk melon
  • 1/2 cup finely sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 1 serrano chile, minced
  • a handful fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup loosely chopped, toasted almonds
  • generous pinch of salt
  • to serve (opt): dollops of salted creme fraiche, sprigs of basil leaves and flowers
  1. Cut the melon in half and use a spoon to remove seeds. Use a mellon baller to scoop out balls of melon flesh. Alternately, cut the melon into wedges, peel, then cut into bite-sized pieces. 

  2. Gently toss the scallions, sake, chile, cilantro, almonds, and salt. Refrigerate, and let stand for 15 minutes, or, cover and chill for up to a few hours. Just before serving dollop with a bit of salted creme fraiche, and basil leaves.

Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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  • This looks so refreshing and delicious! Can't wait ti try it out.

    Mary Frances
  • I have never had a melon salad before, but this looks lovely. The heat of the chile seems like it would marry well with the sweetness of the melon.

    kristie {birch and wild}
  • Pretty sure this is the ULTIMATE melon salad! I make a melon, avocado, cilantro salad, but I love the almonds and sake added to this one. I can almost taste the clean, bright flavors here. Must see if I can track down a piel de sapo here in Switzerland.

    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
  • Squeee!!!!!! This was my last stop, stomach rumbling, before heading down to make myself a long-overdue lunch. Beyond switching up the sake for lime (because: pantry), I have exactly everything here! Helloooooo, lunch!!!! (And thank you, Heidi!!!!)

    HS: Your photo of it on Instagram is beautiful Molly!

  • I recently made a salad similar to this but used a champagne viniagrette, and a mixture of herbs including cilantro, mint, basil and parsley, plus the scallions and a red watermelon. I took it to a party -- everyone loved it and wanted the recipe!

  • You had me until you said cilantro...HATE the stuff! Any suggestions for an herb to replace this awful weed?

    HS: Hi Stefanie - you might swap in any herb you like - basil, mint, a mix?...

  • Hey, sounds good! & isn't there a way to make creme fraiche yourself? thanks, Emile

  • The thing about melon is just for desert is not so true, I've sautéed these melon balls in olive oil and sprinkled them with balsamic then,pomegranate molasses and mint topped a nice piece of fish and it was not with desert. Watermelon is very good put on a hot grill after a rub with olive oil and is wonderful to eat.

    D avid
  • Hi , my name is Laura and I'm a melon addict. I eat an entire watermelon every single day in summer. But it is the honeydew that won my heart ultimately. I eat one of those every other day. I find this salad fascinating as it has never occurred to me to eat fruit other than just plain.

    Laura ~ Raise Your Garden
  • I very much like the idea of a more savory melon salad. Alas, I must avoid all alcolhol. I wonder if there's any reasonable substitute for the sake; having never tasted it, I'm not familiar with what flavor note it's contributing. Thank you, Heidi, or other commenters, for any suggestions.

  • You have my attention! You also have my mouthwatering for this lovely light summer treat. I have to go find a melon now.

  • Um, this Brit is confused - would you eat this for your main course, or for your dessert? For me, melon is a fruit, and belongs strictly to the category of dessert (or just possibly a starter), but your salad seems to mix the courses up!

  • Is it weird that I love perfectly spherical scooped melon balls? They're so wonderful to look at (and eat!) especially when arranged in such a beautiful salad! :)

    Sarah | Well and Full
  • Soooooo into this. Like, my face is will be into this. Into it.

    bev @ bevcooks
  • Looks wonderful, going to make it today. I love the melon balls, it is old school and shows that you take a little more time and thought. Like peeling asparagus!

  • I rarely see this melon in my market, but when I do, I snatch them up because they are delicious. I love the addition of Serrano chili for a nice kick!

    Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth
  • That is one refreshing salad! Even if the melon is looking green pale, it somehow works perfectly with the herbs and the crushed almonds. 'Will definitely bookmarked this one!

    Jennifer @ Delicious Everyday
  • I've seen this melon around! Love the way you use it in this salad, and the basil flowers really add an interesting touch.

    leaf (the indolent cook)
  • Melon and cilantro sound like an interesting flavor combination... I love both, so why not.

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