Summer’s Best Melon Ball & Blueberry Salad

Pure summer in a bowl, a pile of jewel-colored watermelon and cantaloupe balls plus blueberries tossed in a simple sweet 'n' tart dressing made with no more than fresh lime juice, honey and a bare touch of Tabasco.

Very Summery! Beautiful Color! Cool & Refreshing! Fresh & Seasonal. Great for Potlucks and Light Summer Meals. Weight Watchers Friendly. Easily Vegan.
Summer's Best Melon Ball & Blueberry Salad, another Summer Easy recipe ♥ KitchenParade.com. Beautiful Color. Great for Potlucks & Light Weeknight Meals. Weight Watchers Friendly.

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Who Can Resist Summer Melons? Not the Cat. Nor the Dog.

Once upon a time, I had a black cat who l-o-v-e-d cantaloupe. He could be fast asleep upstairs but as soon as I cut into a juicy melon, there he'd be, thundering down the stairs to the kitchen, meowing and head-butting until he had his own plate of melon and when he finished that, he'd head-butt for more. Annoying but amusing!

Now I have a watermelon-loving dog!


Our dog loves watermelon! ♥ KitchenParade.com

My nephew and his young family visited from Texas last month, we all spent a sunny Sunday with lawn chairs plopped in the shallows of a fast-flowing trout stream while my husband cooked brats, sweet corn and sliced zucchini over a small fire dug into the gravel bar alongside.

The kids' eyes lit up when Jerry cut big wedges of watermelon but the funniest thing was how the dog – the dog! – politely but unswervingly insisted on his own watermelon and ate his way through two whole wedges one dainty dog bite at a time.


Summer's Best Melon Ball & Blueberry Salad, another Summer Easy recipe ♥ KitchenParade.com. Beautiful Color. Great for Potlucks & Light Weeknight Meals. Weight Watchers Friendly.

So should it come as any surprise that the dog laid a territorial paw near the bowl of melon balls while I snapped a few pictures? Ha! Staking his claim, that dog!

Melon Ball Salads: Summer Treats


Summer's Best Melon Ball & Blueberry Salad, another Summer Easy recipe ♥ KitchenParade.com. Beautiful Color. Great for Potlucks & Light Weeknight Meals. Weight Watchers Friendly.

So really, who can resist when summer's ripe melons appear in the market? Just like for my old cat and our dog, for us, just one isn't enough. Don't let this summer (this week?! this very day?!) pass without savoring a summer melon ...

What's In This Melon Ball & Blueberry Salad? Pantry Ingredients!


Summer's Best Melon Ball & Blueberry Salad, another Summer Easy recipe ♥ KitchenParade.com. Beautiful Color. Great for Potlucks & Light Weeknight Meals. Weight Watchers Friendly.

  • Melon balls – watermelon and cantaloupe both, the ripest and most flavorful you can find
  • Blueberries – local berries are long gone but the Driscoll blueberries from the grocery store seem extra good this year!
  • For the dressing – fresh limes plus a little honey and Tabasco
  • Fresh mint – is extra special but I'd also use fresh cilantro
  • Good feta – for crumbling, start with a block of feta instead of dry pre-crumbled feta
  • Ready to get started? Here's your recipe!



SUMMER's BEST MELON BALL & BLUEBERRY SALAD

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 2 – 6 hours
Time-to-table: 2 – 6 hours
Makes about 5 cups
  • 2 cups (about 350g from about 1/4 a medium watermelon) watermelon balls, preferably the "larger" ball
  • 2 cups (about 350g, from about 1/2 a cantaloupe) cantaloupe balls, preferably the "smaller" ball
  • 1 cup (150g) fresh blueberries
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Few drops of Tabasco
  • Fresh mint leaves cut into ribbons (about a loose 1/4 cup)
  • 1-inch square (1oz/28g) feta, crumbled, optional but nice

MIX In a large bowl, collect all the ingredients and gently stir together.

CHILL Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours.

SERVE Best served super cold and refreshing!

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS While this salad "can" be eaten right away, it's especially good when the melon is both chilled and has had a chance to soak up the juices.

VARIATIONS of Watermelon & Cantaloupe Salad

  • Vegan – Use agave instead of honey and skip the feta entirely.
  • Side Salad vs Fruit Salad – Cut up one or two small Persian cucumbers and add a little finely diced red onion, a la Watermelon, Cucumber & Feta Salad or Watermelon & Celery Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette. Some recipes add small tomatoes but to my taste, melons and tomatoes do not belong in the same bowl!
  • Especially for Dessert – Instead of honey, use a fruity liqueur.
  • Texture Contrast – Gussy up the salad with a few toasted almonds or my wonderful Maple-Glazed Pecans. The nuts do get soggy so either add them at the last minute or serve on the side for individual sprinkling.
  • Cheese Gusto – Instead of feta, go for a musty blue cheese or a creamy soft goat cheese or fresh mozzarella balls or oh-my-lanta burrata, yes, burrata!
ALANNA's TIPS If you have a double-sided melon baller, use the larger scoop for the watermelon and the smaller scoop for the cantaloupe. Why? It's just prettier! The three round sizes (two of melon plus the still-smaller blueberries) offer our eyes and our tastebuds an appreciated contrast. This is one of those small tips that makes a difference, one to apply to other fruit salads too. There's a practical reason too. Watermelon is softer than cantaloupe so larger balls watermelon balls hold up slightly better than smaller watermelon balls. Melon balls are especially pretty but sure, if it's easier, just cut the melons up into cubes. There'll be less waste too.
RESOURCES A double-sided melon ball scoop is handy this time of year, when melons are so plentiful – to say nothing of sweet and juicy! For anyone who's mindful of single-purpose kitchen tools, you can also use a melon baller to scoop the seeds out of a seedy cucumber or the cores out of mini peppers or soft pears. Any more ideas? Anyone? My Disclosure Promise
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup, Without/With Feta: 77/92 Calories; 0/1g Tot Fat; 0/1g Sat Fat; 0/5mg Cholesterol; 36/75mg Sodium; 20g Carb; 2g Fiber; 16/17g Sugar; 1/2g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 1/2 & PointsPlus 2/3 & SmartPoints 4/5 & Freestyle 1

Savoring Summer Melons

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The Magic of Watermelon Wedges Cantaloupe Salad with Feta & Basil Fruity Gazpacho

Unexpected Fruit Combinations

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Savory Orange Slices Grape Salad with Almonds & Cilantro Mojito Strawberries
~ more fruit salad recipes ~

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2019

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

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