Cantaloupe gets a bad rap. It’s the sad, lonely melon left at the bottom of the fruit bowl. I get it, I’ve never been a huge fan of cantaloupe myself. At least I wasn’t until I realized how life-changing it is to bite into a perfectly ripe and sweet cantaloupe. It’s like eating a completely different fruit!
In the U.S., cantaloupe is in season from June to August. If you’ve come across this blog post in fall or winter, bookmark this page and come back. There’s nothing worse than unripe melon, especially in this recipe where sweet cantaloupe is in the starring role.
The first time I tested this recipe I ended up with an under ripe melon and it was a total bust. When shopping for a cantaloupe, select one that feels heavier than it looks and has a rind that looks like raised netting. Most of all, it should smell sweet.
I paired cantaloupe with cucumber for a refreshing summer side perfect for hot summer days and nights. It’ll pair nicely with just about any barbeque spread, from grilled corn to veggie burgers. Cucumber is one of my favorite summer veggies because it’s really refreshing and hydrating. Now that I know how tasty cantaloupe can be, it’s ranking up there among my favorite summer fruits.
The dressing for this salad is quite simple. Just whisk together some avocado oil, lime juice, lime zest, agave, and salt. It’s the perfect blend of acidic and sweet. Toss it with the cucumber and cantaloupe, cover, and chill until you’re ready to serve. I added a few torn basil leaves just before serving and it added more subtle fresh flavor. What would you pair this cucumber and melon salad with? I want to hear all of your ideas!Print
This Cucumber and Melon Salad with Basil is a cool, refreshing, and hydrating side for all of your summer barbeques and picnics.
- 2 large cucumbers (organic preferred)
- 1 ripe, sweet cantaloupe
- Small handful of fresh basil or Thai basil, for serving
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
For the dressing
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 teaspoon agave
- Pinch of salt
- Peel the cucumbers into a stripe pattern and slice in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and then slice the cucumbers into ½-inch moon shapes. Add the cucumber to a large serving bowl.
- Cut the cantaloupe in half and scoop out the seeds. Use a melon baller to create cantaloupe spheres (I used the smaller side of my melon baller) and place them in the serving bowl.
- To make the dressing, whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust flavors to your liking. It should be a nice balance of acidic and sweet.
- Drain any juice that has collected in the bottom of the serving bowl. Drizzle the cucumber and melon with the dressing. Toss to coat and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, garnish with fresh basil and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional).
Keywords: vegan summer salad, cucumber salad, melon salad, easy vegan salad