Summer Melon Salad Recipe
A simple summer melon salad. Sweet chunks of melon combine with toasted almonds for crunch, serrano chiles and scallions counter the sweet, there's small dollops of crème fraîche, cilantro, and a wash of sake. A real summer refresher.
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.
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.
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
- 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
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.
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.
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This looks so refreshing and delicious! Can't wait ti try it out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! :)
Soooooo into this. Like, my face is will be into this. Into it.
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!
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!
I've seen this melon around! Love the way you use it in this salad, and the basil flowers really add an interesting touch.
Melon and cilantro sound like an interesting flavor combination... I love both, so why not.
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