This Cucumber Melon Salad is sweet-scented, made with Turkish melon and crunchy Persian cucumbers. Each ingredient is small diced and then tossed in an aromatic ginger dressing. It’s absolutely delicious.
What Does Turkish Melon Taste Like?
The melon you see above was picked from my mother-in-law’s garden in Usak, Turkey. Their light green flesh tastes honey-like—similar to a honeydew melon. This specific melon I was gifted was homegrown so it’s on the smaller side. However, its smallness must not be overlooked for its sweetness. Not only does this melon taste amazing, but when sliced open, the room is perfused with a pleasant smell of cucumber.
Actually, do you remember that cucumber melon scent from Bath and Body Works? Well, that’s the smell!
Furthermore, the look of this melon is dark green with bright yellow thick stripes circumferenced around and some with speckles. The outer skin can sometimes cave in when pressed with your fingertips as an indication of over-ripeness. But even eating it in this stage is an absolute delight: simply slice the melon in half, grab a large spoon, and scoop out the perfumey soft flesh bite-by-bite.
Tips for Making Perfect Cucumber Melon Salad
- In like manner, for those who are not living in Turkey, use honeydew melon and not cantelope.
- If you find that the melon you chose is a bit on the juicier side, once diced, simply place the melon over a strainer for about 5-10 minutes to get rid of excess liquid. No one wants a soupy salad.
- Dice the cucumber and the melon the same size. This will ensure that each bite is balanced with both ingredients.
- When making the ginger lemon dressing, crush the ginger as you whisk—this will release its natural aroma and flavor.
Cucumber Melon Salad Variations
Needless to say, if you are unable to find Persian cucumbers, use American cucumbers by removing the thick skin and inner seeds. Chop into small dice as usual.
Though this melon salad is made with just a few fresh ingredients, feel free to explore by adding other crunchy veggies like bell peppers, carrots, or celery.
More importantly, for those that are vegan, swap out the honey for pure maple syrup or agave nectar.
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Cucumber Melon Salad with Ginger Lemon Dressing
- 2 cups Turkish or honeydew melon small dice, then strain off excess juices
- 2 cups Persian cucumbers, skin peeled (optional) small dice
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped mint
Ginger Lemon Dressing
- juice and zest of one lemon
- 1 generous tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 tsp honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Add the dice melon and cucumber in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Next, in a separate bowl, add the zest and juice of the lemon, ginger, honey, salt and pepper. Then, while whisking, drizzle in the olive oil. Continually whisk until a pale yellow dressing forms. Taste the dressing and adjust seasoning by adding more salt according.
- When ready, drizzle about 3/4 of the dressing over the cucumber and melon along with the fresh mint. Toss to combine.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with extra sprigs of mint.