My favorite part about summer foods is how gloriously simple they can be and still be packed with flavor. That’s the joy of using in-season produce! It is so fresh, so flavorful, so perfectly wonderful on its own, that you don’t really need to do a lot of “cooking” to make it into something special. This Honey-Mint Melon Salad is a perfect example of that– fresh in-season ingredients coming together to make something spectacular!
When you see the summer melons start to show up at your local farmers’ market, make sure to have this salad recipe in your back pocket. It’s the perfect make-ahead refreshing option for your summertime picnics and backyard barbecues, and it should, quite honestly, absolutely only be made when melons are at their peak. Promise me you aren’t going to try to make this in the dead of winter when watermelons are shipped to your grocery store from halfway across the globe, k? PROMISE. This is strictly a summertime recipe.
I like the combination of honeydew, watermelon, and cantaloupe for both flavor and color (holy beautiful salad, Batman!), but if you can get your hands on one or two of some other kinds of fun and funky melons from the farmers’ market—knock yourself out!
The simple honey-vanilla-lemon dressing and fresh mint really pull together the flavors of all the different varieties of melon. You can’t mess this up. In fact, I recommend experimenting all melon season long to figure out what your favorite combo is!
You are welcome to use a melon baller like we did here (this is the one I use), but you can also take a shortcut (and not waste any melon) by just cutting the melons into bite-sized chunks. It won’t look quite as beautiful, but it will taste just as scrumptious.
I’ve also been known to make this into an über-patriotic salad for 4th of July by cutting the melons into about 1/2″ thick “sheets” and then using a small star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out bites. It takes a bit more time, but shooo-weee, do kids ever get mighty excited about star-shaped watermelon!
When it comes to summertime pitch-ins and backyard barbecues, I like to combine this melon salad recipe with a big batch of my Mango Guacamole. Those two together are such a crowd-pleasing combo, and no one needs to know that they barely take any time at all to pull together! Enjoy!