If I asked you what you ate for lunch today, would your reply be ‘nothing special, just a salad’?
Well I’m here to tell you that a salad can not only be special, it can be spectacular! And this salad is the very example of that. I’m even going out on a limb to say that this is my most favorite salad. (Though I’m sure you will read that time and again!) Simple tender greens and subtly sweet cantaloupe are the two main ingredients in this salad. But ohhhhhhh that spicy melon dressing!
I love the combination of the mache and microgreens, sweet cantaloupe, spicy pink peppercorns and crunchy toasted sunflower seeds. Not only is this salad delicious, it is pretty on the plate!
But it is the dressing which is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever tasted! Pureed cantaloupe mingles with white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, jalapeno pepper, pink peppercorns, and mint. It’s all at once sweet and spicy, cool and refreshing.
Anyone have a straw?
And while I dressed the salad, I neglected to put a drizzle of dressing on the plate itself. So I wanted to let you know how lush I thought this salad was. Best salad ever!
So if your last salad was ‘nothing special’, give this beautiful greens and cantaloupe salad a try. Perfect for brunch, or a special occasion. Or just because it’s Monday.
Support your local farmers!
- 3 ounces of mache, washed, dried and trimmed
- 1 ounce of microgreens
- 1 medium, ripe cantaloupe
- 1 teaspoon of pink peppercorns
- 2 Tablespoons of unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1 Tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon of chopped, fresh jalapeno
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of chopped mint leaves, plus more for garnish
- kosher salt
- Toast the pink peppercorns by placing them in a small skillet over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Lightly crush them with a mortar and pestle. (I placed them in a small baggie and used my rolling pin to crush them. You can also use the bottom of another skillet.) Set these aside.
- Add the sunflower seeds to the same pan and toast them in the same way for 2-3 minutes and set them aside.
- Cut the melon into 8 even slices. Chop 3 slices and place them in a blender. Puree it until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. You will have just shy of 1 cup of puree.
- Pour the puree into a large bowl. Add the vinegar, lime juice, chile, garlic and half of the crushed peppercorns.
- Slowly whisk in the olive oil and then add the chopped mint. Add a pinch of kosher salt, taste and adjust. Feel free to add a little more vinegar or lime juice.
- Just before plating, cut the melon slices into long slices about an inch thick.
- Toss the mache and microgreens with just enough dressing to coat them. Arrange the leaves on each plate with 2 slices of melon per plate. Evenly scatter the toasted sunflower seeds and remaining peppercorns on top of each salad. Garnish with a few small or torn mint leaves and serve with the extra dressing on the side.