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Cucumber-Melon Salad

Cucumber-Melon Salad

Guilty Goose offers this refreshing summer salad that mixes sweet melons with cool cucumbers and tangy red onions.


For the marinated onions:

  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ red onion, peeled and sliced into thin strips
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the salad:

  • ¼ cantaloupe melon, seeded and scooped with a melon baller, ½-inch in diameter
  • ¼ honeydew melon, seeded and scooped with a melon baller, ½-inch in diameter
  • 1 English or Hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into half-moons ¼-inch wide
  • 3 stalks celery, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • ¼ cup celery leaves
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • ½ cup lovage
  • 1 teaspoon fine sugar
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


For the marinated onions:

Add the red wine vinegar to a small bowl, then add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Allow to soak for about 20 minutes, then drain.

For the salad:

In a large salad bowl, combine the marinated onions, melon balls, cucumber, celery, celery leaves, mint, lovage, sugar, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and mix well using salad tongs.

To be honest, this salad came into our rotation as part of a clean out the fridge leftovers meal and it’s evolved from that time. My logic – if a certain well loved company can make a whole line of bath products and body sprays from this combo then wouldn’t the actual food combination work just as well?

Yes. Yes it does. Frankly, it’s even better!

I know I say this about ALL my recipes, but this one is the be all and end all of this phrase…It’s so versatile. Wanna switch things up for breakfast? Have this salad. Something fast for lunch? Have this salad. Your kid won’t eat salad? I guarantee they’ll eat this one! Need a perfect brunch or picnic recipe? Here you go!

It works with pretty much all diets, however the melon in it is one that you’ll have to go easy on if you’re on the keto diet. It’s gluten free, 21 day fix approved, vegan (just double check your balsamic vinegar doesn’t have gelatin in it), whole 30, and all the rest!

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Cucumber Melon Salad

I made this dish twice to get it right. The first time, I was going for salsa. It had hot peppers in it, vinegar, oil and sea salt. The second incarnation was more of a fresh fruit salad. Both were mellow, juicy and crisp little concoctions, like a summer cocktail. When I finally decided on the right balance of flavors, I hit a wall on what to name it. Salsa, or salad? Then again, what is the difference — really — between a chunky, pico de gallo-style salsa and a finely chopped, tabouli-like salad. They were one and the same. So call it what you will, but this recipe’s a simple, summery marriage of both worlds.

Second of all, I want to thank everyone who chimed in on my eggplant dilemma on the last post. I have learned so much more in about eggplant allergies in the last four days thanks to it — which would have never happened on my own. Namely, that discovery about eggplant being particularly prickly when not cooked to a mush. This might be obvious to some people, but it went off like a light bulb in my head. I don’t think I’d ever roasted eggplant to that degree of al dente-ness before.

culled from the coolest place on earth: a late-summer Farmers’ Market

This melon-cucumber salad has only a few ingredients, all of which were found at the Farmers’ Market except for the lime, oil, salt and pepper. It’s a particularly good time for the melons. I smelled several cantaloupes at a vendor’s stand and each one of them filled my nostrils with a fresh, slightly floral fragrance. The flavor of the one I chose was incomparable to what’s available the rest of the year, too. It’s also nice to get cukes without a thick layer of what looks to be my ex-college roommate’s hair wax smeared all over it, like the cucumbers you find in the supermarket. Or if not those, then wrapped in a tight sheath of plastic and twice as expensive, like the prim English cucumber alternative.

mellow orange

As a friend who tried this afterward remarked, “The cilantro really makes this.” The distinct herb seems to be the tie that binds the sweet and savory dish together as one. Though it’s fresh, mild-tasting fare on its own, I’d recommend pouring this salad on a full plate stacked with your favorite meats, grilled veggies, and what-have-yous. Its acidic juices help cleanse the palate and its tightly packed pellets of cucumber lend satisfying crunch.

Cucumber Melon Salad
(makes about 6 side servings)

3 cups fresh cantaloupe, diced to small cubes
2 cups fresh cucumber, diced to equal-sized cubes (keeping skin on if unwaxed)
juice from 1 lime (2 tablespoons or more)
zest from the lime
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup tomato, diced to small cubes
2 scallions (or fresh onion tops), thinly sliced
1 bunch cilantro, coarsley chopped
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1 tablespoon fruity, extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeds removed and chopped very finely (optional, or choose a milder pepper as an alternative)

Fold all the ingredients together in a serving bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours before serving, to let flavors incorporate. Serve alone, as a garnish for meats or as a dip with chips.

Cost Calculator
(for 6 side servings)

1/2 of a cantaloupe (at $3.50 each):$1.25
1 1/2 cucumbers (at 3/$2): $1.00
1/4 cup chopped onion plus onion tops (from a bunch of 5 fresh onions for $2): .30
1/4 cup chopped tomato (at $3/lb): .60
1 bunch cilantro: $2.00
1 lime: .33
1/2 jalapeno, 1 Tb olive oil, pinches of salt and pepper: .25
Total: $5.73

Health Factor
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Two brownie points: Remember that keeping the green skin on a cucumber means more fiber, in addition less work and more color in your dish. I mean really, whose idea was it to give the cucumber a slicked-back Guido ‘do? Aren’t these (and apples, and — sigh — many other fruits and veggies) shiny enough on their own? But enough on that. Both the cucumber and the cantaloupe share the blessing of being low-calorie carriers of plentiful nutrients, like Vitamin A, C, potassium, antioxidants — and both are purported to have “cooling” benefits. Not such a bad plus for a summer in New York.

The Kitchy Kitchen

This is the salad equivalent to frozen grapes: super refreshing, your last chance against a hot summer day. The cool fruit combined with refreshing mint is enough, but with a bright honey/lime combo and some habanero, it’s exactly what you need when you’re sweating buckets. This works with literally ANY other fruit, by the way, so get creative with it!


1/4 cup finely chopped mint

1 habanero, seeds removed and thinly sliced (optional)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Combine everything. For the best flavor, let it sit in the fridge for about an hour to let the flavors come together. Remember, the longer it sits, the spicier it will get!

Summer Melon And Cucumber Salad

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What do you guys expect from a summer salad that&rsquos perfect as a side or all on its own?
Should be refreshing? Yes.
Succulent? Sure.
Crunchy? Yes, please.
How about sweet bites paired with notes of tangy arugula & balsamic? Yum.
Add all bright summer colors? Love it.
Takes like 5 minute to make? WANT IT NOW
That&rsquos a pretty short but totally descriptive intro for this amazing cantaloupe and cucumber summer salad.

Tips & Tricks

Choose a good ripe cantaloupe but NOT over ripe one.
Too ripe cantaloupe has a mushy pulp and doesn&rsquot hold cube shape and has a different taste.
Plus you can go and google &ldquooverripe cantaloupe&rdquo and see what search suggestions come up (not very inspiring, lol).

Of course, you can&rsquot always know what you buy, but you can minimizes the risk.
This is a trick that I&rsquove learned from my husband&rsquos friend who is originally from Apulia region of Italy.
And they totally know a thing or two about fruits 😉

How to choose perfect ripe cantaloupe

So next time you&rsquore choosing a melon cantaloupe press with your thumbs on the blossom end of the cantaloupe. If it yields easily &ndash there&rsquos like 99% chance it&rsquos overripe.
If it&rsquos hard to press or it just only some give &ndash you&rsquore likely getting a perfect cantaloupe.

Of course, once you get it, don&rsquot let it sit in the fridge for too long.
Just a few days &ndash MAX. Otherwise it&rsquoll continue to ripen to the point it&rsquos not going to be edible any longer.

Pro Tip If you want to make it next level &ndash add prosciutto roses or simply serve with a plate of your favorite cold cuts.

Recipe Summary

  • 1/2 cup watermelon cubes or balls
  • 1/2 cup cantaloupe cubes or balls
  • 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon yuzu juice (or 1 teaspoon lime or lemon juice)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Basil leaves

To make one serving, combine watermelon and cantaloupe cubes or balls with cucumber. Drizzle with olive oil and yuzu juice (or lime or lemon juice). Season with salt and pepper stir to combine. Garnish with basil leaves.

Before you go.

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Cool-as-a-Cucumber Salads

When it’s as hot as it has been in so many parts of the country lately, hydrating foods like cucumbers are especially appealing. Cucumbers are a very good source of vitamin C and caffeic acid, compounds that help the body prevent water retention, a problem that many of us suffer from on hot summer days.

I reach for cucumbers most often at lunch, when I want simple, refreshing vegetables to eat with cottage cheese or throw into a sandwich. I’ll sometimes make a big batch of tangy cucumber raita and enjoy it for lunch throughout the week, either on its own or packed into pita bread. This week’s salads are great for lunch or dinner. The Israeli couscous and cucumber combo could even be served as a light main dish.

Lately I’ve been buying Persian cucumbers more than any others. I like the small size, the absence of big seeds and the thin skin. I also love the locally grown Japanese cukes I’m buying at the farmers’ market. At other times of year I settle for the hothouse European variety, but they can’t compare with what you can get right now at your farmers’ market. Seek out unwaxed cucumbers so you won’t need to peel them and can benefit from their skin, a rich source of fiber and a good source of potassium and magnesium.

Melon, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Years ago I took a weeklong cooking course at Le Cordon Bleu in London. The chef giving the demonstrations would end each one by saying, “It’s very good to eat.” I was dubious when she presented this salad, but she was right! Melon and cucumber go well together in this refreshing combination they’re closely related botanically.

1 European cucumber, peeled if desired and cut in medium dice

1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded if desired, cut in thin wedges or diced

1 small ripe honeydew melon or cantaloupe, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice or shaped into melon balls

2 to 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon mild honey, like clover, or agave nectar

4 tablespoons grapeseed oil, rice bran oil or canola oil

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

1 tablespoon chopped chives

Fresh watercress for garnish (optional)

1. Put the cucumbers in a colander set in the sink or a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and let drain for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients.

2. Toss the cucumbers, tomatoes and melon together in a bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, salt to taste, lime juice, honey and oil and toss with the fruit and vegetable mixture. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

3. Just before serving, toss with the herbs. Line plates with watercress if desired. Taste the salad, adjust the seasonings and serve over the watercress.

Yield: 6 servings.

Advance preparation: You can make this through Step 2 several hours ahead. Because of the salt, the vegetables and fruit will give off a lot of water, so if you don’t want the salad to be too juicy, salt shortly before serving.

Nutritional information per serving: 166 calories 10 grams fat 1 gram saturated fat 7 grams polyunsaturated fat 1 gram monounsaturated fat 0 milligrams cholesterol 21 grams carbohydrates 3 grams dietary fiber 36 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste) 2 grams protein

Melon and Cucumber Salad

Thanks to all who have reached out to make sure we are okay. We sadly said goodbye to our current group of kid campers yesterday evening, as we watched flames from the County Fire burn in the hills. Their parents had dropped them off only hours before, when the wind was in our favor, but conditions changed quickly and within an hour our farm was enveloped in smoke and we could see flames, taller than the trees. The fire is powerful and awe inspiring. As we watch nature do what she does, the human dramas come into focus. The custom building project across the road that took years to finish, now under threat. All the farms, and their people, and their animals that are sitting just at the fire’s edge. But for today we are here, watching the trees for signs of wind, listening to the helicopters flying overhead. We will take care of our farm, while our boxes of passports and birth certificates sit by the door. We are so incredibly thankful for all of the firefighters who rushed here to help. Thanks again for the outpouring of support. We will keep you posted!

We made a version of this salad for our last farm dinner and it was a big hit!

One melon from your box (any kind)

1/2 of an onion, sliced as thin as you can

1 Tablespoon mint, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon basil or parsley, finely chopped

pecorino or another salty cheese of your choice (optional), shaved

Freshly ground black pepper

Put your thinly sliced onion in a small bowl and add about 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar. I sometimes add a pinch of sugar, especially if your onion isn’t a red onion. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or so. Slice the rind off of your melon and cut the whole thing into bite sized chunks. Slice your cucumbers on the diagonal. Put both the melon and cucumbers in a large serving bowl, sprinkle with a small amount of salt, and mix gently. Drizzle a bit more red wine vinegar over the melons and cucumbers. Sprinkle with the herbs, a bit of olive oil, and some freshly ground black pepper. Top with the shaved cheese and pickled onions.