cantaloupesalad

This cantaloupe salad with lemon balm and lemon cucumber is delicious and very simple to make.

Lemon balm (Melissa officianalis) is an herb I am very fond of; I grow it in my garden and I often add it salads (I like it with greens as well as in fruit salads like this one). I also enjoy it in smoothies, and I have infused it into custard and chopped it into cookies, as well.

photo of lemon balm

Lemon balm is in the mint family. It has a reputation for being invasive like mint, but I find it to be very easy to grow and not too troublesome in my sunny herb spiral. Lemon balm is known as a “nervine” (meaning it helps to soothe the nerves). It also helps promote good digestion, and has anti-bacterial activity. If you don’t have access to lemon balm, though, I would substitute mint or perhaps basil in the salad.

lemon cucumber

I have these cute “lemon cucumbers” growing in my garden. They are pale yellow and have a thin skin; they are a little sweeter than regular cucumbers. If you can’t find these, just substitute one medium-sized typical cucumber for the 3 lemon cukes.

I garnished the salad with shavings of ricotta salata cheese. I love the super saltiness of this Italian cheese made from sheep’s milk, but if you are vegan or just don’t want the cheese on your salad, feel free to leave it off. I would sprinkle a little Himalayan or sea salt on instead, though, as the salt does help to brighten the flavors. If you want to add cheese but can’t find ricotta salata, you can substitute another salty hard cheese such as feta.

Recipe for Lemony Cantaloupe Salad

Yield: 2-4 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

As an appetizer, this will serve 2-4 people ; I ate the whole bowl myself for breakfast, though!

Ingredients:

*flesh from 1/2 ripe cantaloupe, sliced into thin bite-sized pieces
*3 lemon cucumbers (or 1 medium-sized cucumber), peeled if not organic, and sliced into bite-sized pieces
*1 large handful of lemon balm, stems removed and chopped chiffonade-style
*2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
*1 teaspoon raw honey or pure maple syrup- optional
*shavings of ricotta salata cheese (or crumbled feta) to garnish- optional

Directions:

1. Mix cantaloupe through lemon balm in a medium bowl (if not using the sweetener, go ahead and mix in the lemon juice, too).

2. In a smaller bowl, mix the lemon juice with the sweetener and pour over the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.

3. Place individual servings on smaller salad plates and garnish with the cheese.

WHB3-1This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, an event managed by Haalo from Cook Almost Anything. This week’s host is Anna from from Anna’s Cool Finds!

 

6 Comments

  1. 1

    Anna — August 2, 2009 @ 2:46 pm

    Lovely! I’ve just posted the recap. Thanks for participating.

  2. 2

    Suzanne Collier — May 23, 2010 @ 8:42 am

    Ooooo, I really love cantaloupe and this looks so refreshing. I’m going to make some but I doubt anyone else will get any of it! Sounds like the perfect breakfast for me, too. Love this!

  3. 3

    Barbara @ moderncomfortfood — May 24, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

    What a wonderful idea! My husband and I have a big, fresh seasonal fruit salad with dinner every night, and I always look forward to including cantaloupes when they are in season. I have lemon balm in my garden, but lemon cucumbers are completely new to me and very intriguing. When my (fall, winter, and spring) gardening season here in Florida starts again, I’ll definitely try them.

  4. 4

    30 Sensational Summer Salad Recipes - Keeper of the Home — June 28, 2013 @ 6:02 am

    [...] Cantaloupe Salad – Healthy Green [...]

  5. 5

    mom24boys — July 3, 2013 @ 8:16 pm

    I can’t wait to try this salad. One of my sons just loves any kind of mint in foods… and we have tons and tons of lemon balm (it is very invasive in Oregon where it gets so much watering from the rain!).

    One thing I wanted to mention, though is that you forgot to include the cucumber in your directions. I know most everyone can figure it out but there is bound to be someone who complains.

    Thanks for the inspiration to use my lemon balm instead of just curse it.

  6. 6

    Alexandria — August 6, 2013 @ 6:23 am

    First off I want to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I’ve had a
    difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my
    thoughts out. I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10
    to 15 minutes are usually wasted just trying to figure
    out how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Thanks!

Leave a Comment