This delightful recipe is perfect for the last days of summer. Utilizing the season’s ‘dregs’—those slightly overripe fruits and vegetables still bursting with sweetness—this salad recipe celebrates the culmination of summer in a delicious way.
- 1 small, very sweet melon (best with cantaloupe or honeydew)
- 4 mini cucumbers
- 1 pint super-sweet cherry tomatoes (can substitute with a few large ripe tomatoes)
- 1-2 limes
- A handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
- A handful of basil leaves, finely chopped
- Good olive oil, to taste
- Good white wine vinegar (or any fun and fancy “clear” vinegar), to taste
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Optional: A couple of handfuls of crumbled salty cheese, like feta
- Prepare the Produce: Peel the melon and cut it into bite-sized cubes, avoiding the seeds. Place them in a large salad bowl. Peel the mini cucumbers, halve them lengthwise, and chop neatly. Add to the bowl.
- Tomatoes: If you’re using cherry tomatoes, halve or quarter them. If using large, ripe tomatoes, halve and seed them before roughly chopping or tearing. Add these to the salad bowl.
- Lime Juice: Squeeze the juice of 1-2 limes over the produce, and toss gently to mix.
- Herbs: Add the finely chopped mint and basil leaves.
- Dressing: Drizzle a good amount of olive oil and your choice of white wine vinegar. Add a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
- Optional Cheese: If you’re a fan of briny cheese, add a couple of handfuls of crumbled feta or similar salty cheese.
- Serve: You can serve the salad immediately, or if you prefer, you can refrigerate it. However, this salad is best enjoyed not straight from the fridge but rather at a slightly warmer temperature where the sweetness of the ingredients can really shine.
This salad offers endless variations. You can swap out cherry tomatoes for plum tomatoes or even use a different type of melon. Add a light-colored, fancy vinegar if you have it on hand.
Enjoy the luscious flavors of summer’s end with this simple yet elegant salad.