The only way that I generally ever eat cantaloupe is cut fresh, mixed in a fruit salad or down the hatch as a martini. (Seriously – it’s great in a martini.) But with two cantaloupe delivered with my most recent Costco purchase, I thought I might try to find a recipe to use the cantaloupe in a less traditional (for me) manner.
A few months ago, when you could go out to eat, I was out to eat with my dad at one of our favorite local eateries in downtown Long Beach, Calif., and instead of ordering my standard (arugula burger), I ordered salmon and black rice. It came with a delicious mango salsa on top. Ever since I had that dish, I wanted to recreate it at home.
With that in mind, when searching cantaloupe recipes I came across one for cantaloupe salsa at Smitten Kitchen. It looked intriguing. Could cantaloupe easily be substituted for mango to make salsa? According to Deb from Smitten Kitchen it could be. And she claimed it was just as delicious as a mango salsa, if not more delicious. I knew I needed to use at least one of my melons to try this salsa and I figured it would be good over salmon and rice if it was as much of a success as promised.
In theory, throwing together any type of salsa should be easy. I wanted my salsa to be extra pretty so I spent a lot of time hand dicing the melon into tiny as perfectly square as possible pieces. This took some time. A long time. Between the dicing the cantaloupe and onion, cutting and squeezing the lime, using a chopper to mince the cilantro and jalapeño and throwing everything together, it probably took me about 45 minutes to make this dish. You could shorten that time significantly by using a small appliance (such as food processor with a dicing attachment) to dice the melon.
Deb was right. Cantaloupe salsa is fantastic. It was sweet and spicy and delicious with my favorite tortilla chips, Juanita’s. If I can figure out how to use my dicing attachment on my food processor, I envision myself making this fresh fruit salsa all the time.
- 1 medium-sized cantaloupe
- ½ c. diced red onion
- ¼ c. chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 Serrano pepper, minced
- juice of 1 medium-sized lime
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Slice the cantaloupe in half and spoon out the seeds inside of each half. Slice the cantaloupe in half and then cut the halves into four separate slices. Cut the rind off the cantaloupe and discard. Cut the cantaloupe into bite-sized square pieces or use a dicer to cut into squares, if you have one. My food processor has a dicing attachment but I’m not quite sure how to use it. If you cut by hand and want to make as precise as possible squares, this step will take a long time.
- Mix the diced cantaloupe with the onion, cilantro and minced pepper.
- Sprinkle with salt and on top of the mixture and allow to sit for five minutes. Sprinkle lime juice on top of the mixture and then stir.
- Serve immediately.