Cucumber and Melon Salad

Cucumber and Melon Salad
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This unlikely combination of ingredients is remarkably light and refreshing. Serve it all season long as a change from ordinary green salads. Few things are more refreshing than a cool, juicy melon or a cucumber. One is usually treated as a fruit and the other as a vegetable, but they're actually close kin and complement each other beautifully. Pairing them in this fresh, herbal salad brings out their family resemblance. It's also a convenient way to use up slightly under-ripe melons that aren't sweet enough for your fruit tray.


  • 3 medium field cucumbers, peeled and seeded
  • 2 cups melon, peeled and cut into ¾” cubes
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ¾ tsp. freshly-ground black pepper, or to taste
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander


  1. Chop the cucumbers coarsely to match the size of the melon pieces.
  2. Add the melon, tomatoes and other remaining ingredients. Toss until the melon and cucumber are coated with vinaigrette. Taste the salad and adjust its seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
  3. Serve immediately as a side dish with grilled meats, or with crusty bread and thin-shaved prosciutto for a light lunch.


The melon in this recipe can be any combination of honeydew, cantaloupe, casaba, canary, watermelon, Crenshaw or other melon.

Green honeydew doesn't provide a visual contrast with the cucumbers, so if you opt for honeydew, shape it with your melon baller rather than dice it. The contrasting shapes of diced cucumbers, round melon and oblong tomatoes make for a more attractive salad.

Many other herbs work well in the same basic salad if you're not fond of dill. Try tarragon, mint, fresh basil or fennel fronds as alternatives. Each brings out surprisingly different subtleties in the melons and cucumbers.

Moisture from the cucumbers will dilute the modest quantity of vinaigrette if the salad isn't served immediately. If you're preparing it ahead of time for a barbecue, salt the cucumbers lightly and let them drain in a colander for 30 minutes before you make the salad. Rinse the diced cucumber pieces and blot them dry, then proceed as usual. This removes much of the excess moisture.

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