Thai Cantaloupe Salad

Refreshing summer salad recipe. Cantaloupe balls with lime juice, fish sauce, fresh basil & jalapeño.

The simple melon salad that needs a word to describe its effect

The last page of the Atlantic is my first read. It's a funny little column called 'Word Fugitives' that conjures clever terms for conditions failed by the current lexicon. Example: If a husband is a packrat, what might we call his opposite? Readers suggested 'wouldchuck,' 'hurl squirrel' and the winning entry, 'heave-homemaker'. Ha!

Me, my missing word would describe the food bounty that August's gardens and farmers markets deliver. It would suggest the satisfied moan that follows the first bite of fresh and simple food that just tastes so -- not delicious, someplace past delicious. It conveys that there's simply no bad food right now, that everything that's fresh is wondrous, in all its combinations. What is that word, that phrase? Applications accepted here!

[That word] is needed to describe this easy cantaloupe salad that took all of ten minutes to make and was just sooo good. Served with grilled scallops, shrimp and fresh vegetables, it was the perfect ending to a summer meal on the patio, displacing the intended dessert sorbet.

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Simple to make, lovely to enjoy
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time-to-table: 10 minutes
Serves 4
  • Jalapeño (see TIPS)
  • Juice of 2 limes (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Good splash fish sauce (see TIPS)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 a large very ripe cantaloupe, peeled, cut into balls or chunks
  • Fresh basil, sliced into thin ribbons

Whisk together the jalapeño, lime juice, sugar, fish sauce and salt and pepper. Gently turn in the cantaloupe and basil. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately or within two hours.

I used one pickled jalapeño ring, so handy to keep in the fridge. The inspiring recipe called for half a fresh jalapeño, diced.
WHAT IS FISH SAUCE? Fish sauce is the ingredient which makes this 'Thai'. It's a salty briny liquid that does amazing things for food, including shrimp salad and Thai Roasted Eggplant Salad. It cheap and keeps, so once found, is worth having on hand. The inspiring recipe called for a half teaspoon, I used a good couple of tablespoons. Use your own tastebuds to guide how much is right for your melon.
After a couple of hours, the melon balls get a little mushy. But to make this ahead, just mix the sauce, then add the melon and basil a half hour or so before serving.
NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving: 82Cal; g Protein; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 20g Carb; 2g Fiber; 207mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 1 point
Adapted from a recipe from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper, discovered via A Mingling of Tastes while researching more easy cantaloupe recipes for BlogHer.

Other Recipes [That Word] Would Describe

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Summer's Tomato Soup Panzanella Peach Blueberry Cake

More Melon Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Peach & Cantaloupe Soup Fruity Gazpacho Shrimp Salad Recipes
~ more melon recipes ~
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Yumptious is a good contender, Lisa!
Such beautiful color.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna