melon cucumber and jicama salad
When little beads of perspiration start dotting your upper lip and tell-tale half moons of sweat force you to keep your arms at your side – you know it’s summer. And the only way to stay cool is by
a) running through the sprinkler or dousing yourself with the garden hose.
b) burying the thermostat to arctic and turning on the fan
c) keep a steady stream of cool salads at the ready.
I choose d) all of the above.
You’ll like this one, it’s crisp and cool with musky sweetness from ripe cantaloupe and juicy watermelon.
Jicama and cucumber add additional crunch while keeping the flavors neutral.
I added thinly sliced red onion and spicy pepper for heat, but before you add a peck of peppers, I recommend knowing your audience. I don’t mind the burn, but I learned that my daughter does. She picked out most of the serranos. Live and learn.
Crumble in some mild queso fresco for a salty bite.
An agave lime dressing melds the flavors together.
Gently toss the fruit and vegetables with the dressing, add fresh herbs and serve. This salad is best when eaten soon after making it. If you make it too far in advance, the fruit will give up too much of its juiciness.
I used fresh mint to finish the salad, but basil would work well too.
- 1 cup ripe cantaloupe, cut into 1/2" dice
- 1 1/2 cups watermelon, cut into 1/2" dice
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2" dice
- 1 jicama, peeled and cut into 1/2" dice
- 1/4 cup very thinly sliced red onion
- 1 cup queso fresco, crumbled -- plus extra for serving
- 1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced, seeds removed (optional)
- 3 tablespoons agave
- 1 lime, zested
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, julienned
- In a large bowl combine the cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumber, jicama, red onion and serrano peppers (if using). Toss to combine. Add the queso fresco.
- In a small bowl combine the lime zest and agave. Cut the lime in half and add 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice to the agave mixture. Stir to combine and pour over the salad. Toss until the fruit and veg are coated. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle mint and additional queso fresco on the salad.
- Adjust the heat factor to your taste by removing the seeds and interior membrane for less heat or keep them for more - but watch it, it can get fiery.