Spicy Melon Salad with Fennel

spicy melon salad with fennel, proscuitto, marcona almonds, soft cheese  Prop styling by Nidia Cueva

This salad is packed with the flavors of late-season bounty. Cool, sweet melon is tempered by thin slices of watermelon radish. The better your melon, the better this salad becomes, so choose melons that smell perfumy and strong when you give the end a good sniff. We've also tossed in fennel flowers and fronds that lend this dish a mellow, herbal note. Savory, sweet, and spicy, this neat little bundle of end-of-summer flavors comes together perfectly with our tangy lime dressing. We love this as a quick dish for a picnic. Make it a couple of hours before serving but not before: at this time of year, melon doesn’t keep very well once it’s cut. (Prop styling by Nidia Cueva)

Serves 8

  • 2tablespoons finely chopped sweet onion
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 112teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 4ounces thinly sliced radishes (about one large or 9 small)
  • 1small cantaloupe (about 3 pounds) peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1small canary or other melon (about 2 pounds) peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 12serrano pepper, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1cup loosely packed fennel fronds (from 1 bulb fennel)
  • handful fennel flowers (optional)
  • In a small bowl combine the onions, lime juice, vinegar, and sea salt. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  • 2
  • In a large bowl toss together the remaining ingredients until evenly combined. Add the dressing and toss once more so all the ingredients are covered with dressing and well combined. Chill until ready to serve.