Melon and Feta Salad with Sourdough Croutons and Mint

My fondest summer memories involve eating a cool, refreshing slice of melon by the lake. There's nothing quite as satisfying as taking a big bite and having the juices drip down your face and hands. This recipe showcases how nicely sweet melon plays with savory ingredients like crunchy bread, punchy onions and tangy feta. Serve this salad on its own or as a side dish all summer long!
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 20 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Three 1-inch-thick slices sourdough bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 7 ounces)

1 ripe medium cantaloupe (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded and thinly sliced into 2-inch-long half-moons (see Cook's Note)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 small clove garlic, grated

5 ounces sheep's milk feta, crumbled

Fresh mint leaves, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Put the bread pieces on a baking sheet and toast until golden brown, about 8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, arrange the melon in a flat layer on a large serving platter or 4 smaller plates. Season the melon with salt, pepper, the lemon zest and 1/2 of the lemon juice. Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
  4. Combine the vinegar and the remaining lemon juice in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and add the red onion and garlic. Toss together with a large spoon or clean hands and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes to soften and mellow.
  5. Whisk 3 tablespoons of the olive oil into the onion mixture until homogenous and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Add the croutons and toss together until the bread is properly dressed but still crunchy. Sprinkle over the melon. Top with the feta, mint leaves, more black pepper and a good drizzle of the olive oil. Enjoy!

Cook’s Note

You can swap cantaloupe for other summer melon, like watermelon or honeydew.

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