Time: 15 minutes
This has pretty much been a summer of simplicity for me. In some ways it’s forced, like the fact that my kitchen has been a construction zone for 2 months. But it’s also a choice, because my garden tomatoes have been so juicy all season that it doesn’t take much effort to appreciate them in a sandwich with basil.
So when a friend (ok, actually my Instagram hero, @cramepete) brought this homegrown melon over the other day, I instantly knew what I wanted to do with it. As I sniffed its ripe aroma like a grandma in the produce aisle, I thought of bright, crisp Vietanamese flavors, like mint and lime, with some avocado thrown in for good measure.
Even though it’s perfectly legit to enjoy a melon with nothing but a spoon and some candlelight, it only takes a few extra steps for something even a little more special. You can serve this as an afternoon snack, or alongside a more elaborate Southeast Asian inspired meal. Maybe a red curry or pad thai? You get the picture. Oh and to get even more pictures, check out @cramepete’s Instagram feed today, where you can see his photo of this salad! You can also follow me on there @isachandra. Because you love pics of my cats and my feet.
~This is the kind of formula that’s incredibly versatile, so if you’ve got, say, watermelon and basil, then try that out. Switch out the acidity (in this case, lime) to balsamic vinegar. Make it work with what you’ve got. The whole point is that simple flavors can be heavenly for your tastebuds and your dish duties.
~Prepping the cantaloupe is easy for this salad. Slice it in half and scoop out the seeds. Then turn the melon flat-side down on a cutting board, and use your chef’s knife to peel away the skin. A little green is ok, but try to get it so that you mostly have orange. Then simply dice away and enjoy!
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons agave syrup
3 cups peeled cantaloupe chopped into 3/4 inch pieces
1 avocado chopped into 3/4 inch pieces
1/4 cup lightly packed mint leaves (chopped if leaves are very large)
Sriracha hot sauce to serve, if you’re looking for some spice
In a large bowl, mix together lime juice and agave. Add the cantaloupe and a pinch of salt and toss to coat. Let sit for about 5 minutes so that cantaloupe releases some of its juice and the flavors melt.
Toss in avocado and mint leaves. Taste for salt. You may want to adjust the sweetness and limey-ness as well. Serve immediately!