Melon, Cucumber and Mint Salad
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Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli

Chilled Melon, Cucumber and Mint Salad

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 20 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings



Special equipment:
a melon baller
  1. Place the melons on a flat surface and split each one in half. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Use the larger-size scoop on a melon baller to scoop out the flesh. The goal is to tightly pack about 6 generous cups of melon flesh and then hollow the four melon halves out for presentation. Scrape the halves with a spoon to smooth the insides and gather additional flesh (and trap any juices) in a separate bowl until you have 1 heaping cup. Save the melon halves. Refrigerate the melon balls.
  2. Place the melon scraps and juices in a blender and add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the lime zest and juice and honey. Puree until smooth and taste for seasoning. Add more honey, if needed. Add a splash of water if more liquid is needed to make a smooth puree. Refrigerate.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss the cucumbers with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and a generous amount of black pepper. Toss the melon balls with the dressing. Sprinkle the cucumbers and mint over the melon and mix a little. Fill the melon halves.

Cook’s Note

This is such a retro vibe to use the ingredient as the vessel to present the dish. It’s like serving ceviche in a coconut shell or making a giant watermelon “basket” from the rind and serving the watermelon inside it. You know what? I love it. You can serve a melon “half” per person or you can arrange these on a platter and allow more people to serve themselves from the melon vessels. Ideally, the melons should be ripe, so buy whatever is good. Sniff the melons to get a sense of what they will taste like. If ripe, you should smell hints of melon and flowers.