You know that food that everyone likes except, inexplicably, your kid? That food that they should like, that’s not strange at all, that tastes like other things they like? For me, when I was a kid that food was cantaloupe. I liked pretty much every other fruit. Even cantaloupe’s frequent partner–honeydew. You’d have better luck getting me to eat some non-food item like paper than you would feeding me cantaloupe. And as I grew up and my other childhood food hatreds faded away, cantaloupe stuck around. Until I had the revelation of savory cantaloupe dishes.
This cantaloupe salad with feta and sage is the sort of dish that taught me to learn to love cantaloupe. Cantaloupe has a certain muskiness to it (in fact, one of its names is “muskmelon”) that makes it work wonderfully in a savory salad. Here, the distinct flavor is set off by spicy red onion, fresh sage, creamy feta, and a hint of balsamic. Basil or mint are more traditional additions, but feel free to experiment with whatever you have on hand.
Savory Cantaloupe and Feta Salad
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cantaloupe, rind removed, seeded and cut into 1/2″ chunks
1/2 cup feta, rough chopped
1/4 minced fresh herbs, such as basil, mint, sage, or tarragon
1 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
Whisk together the lime juice, balsamic, and olive oil. Add the red onion and salt.
Roughly 20 minutes before serving, toss the cantaloupe, feta, and dressing in a large salad bowl. Add the fresh herbs, and finish with the ground pepper.
To make ahead, simply prepare the fruit and feta, and add the dressing just before serving.
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