Melon & Mint Salad

melon & mint salad

While growing up, I could always count on seeing a bright yellow plastic melon baller nestled in the back corner of my mom’s kitchen utensil drawer. It stood out among countless wine openers, toothpicks, random metal skewers and an egg slicer. That melon baller couldn’t help but look pitiful & needy from lack of use. Whenever we bought a melon (which was almost never) ¬†that melon baller would come out and I’d be overly excited to use it. Precursor to my adulthood? A month ago I was helping my mom clean out some of her kitchen drawers and she offered up the infamous yellow melon baller. It was almost as if she was daring me to use it. I gladly accepted the challenge and when I flipped through the Heart of the Artichoke cookbook, low and behold I found a recipe that required melon balling action!

Melon & Mint Salad

I’d like to say that my melon balling went swimmingly; it did not. I was under the impression that a melon baller will give you perfectly round spheres of fruit. I was mistaken. After I hacked up half of the cantaloupe, I walked up to my computer and immediately started watching melon balling videos on youtube (they totally exist!).¬† What I gathered is that you can’t make a perfect melon ball; one edge is almost always slightly messed up, flat or has shreds of melon meat hanging off of it. If you have enough melon balls to cover a dish and present the nice round sides up to the world, no one will be the wiser. Top the half perfect melon balls with with cut mint leaves and generously squeeze lime juice on top and you have a fancy salad. After you take your first bite of juicy sweet melon with the lime & mint, you’ll forget about imperfections. You’ll marvel at how perfectly balanced the salad is and you’ll feel like you’ve satisfied your sweet tooth while cleansing your palette. This salad is the perfect end to a delicious meal.

What have we learned here today? A melon baller that doesn’t get used is a very sad melon baller indeed. Bust out your melon baller, it needs you!

And we’re off!

Melons, lime, mint? Check.

melon & mint salad

Underused bright yellow melon baller? Check.

melon & mint salad

Melon balling action? Check.

melon & mint salad

Juice of a whole lime? Check.

melon & mint salad

Scattered chopped mint leaves? Check.

melon & mint salad

Closeup of tasty goodness? Check.

melon & mint salad

Are you ready to dig in? Check.

melon & mint salad

A salad that will make your breath smell awesome? Check.

Melon & Mint Salad

(recipe slightly adapted from Heart of the Artichoke by David Tanis)

Serves 6-8

  • 1 small cantaloupe
  • 1 small honeydew melon
  • 1 lime, halved
  • handful mint leaves

Cut the melons in half, remove seeds and make melon balls with a melon baller. If you don’t have a melon baller (sad face!), you can cut the melon into bite sized-chunks. Put melon balls in a serving dish and refrigerate until cold. Just before serving, squeeze fresh lime juice over the melon & toss. Cut the mint leaves into slivers and scatter over the melons, tossing lightly.

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25 Comments

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  • September 2, 2011

    This rocks my world. I love melon flavour!

  • September 2, 2011

    Imperfections are perfect, because life isn’t perfect: we love living, even if life is not perfect. Love your salad.

    • September 2, 2011

      And your comment….is perfect! Thank you.

  • Katie
    September 2, 2011

    Add some fresh ginger to this and you will DIE. I make it all the time!

    • September 2, 2011

      YESSSSSS. That is genius!

  • September 2, 2011

    just inherited a melon baller but it’s so teeny it would take a year to ball a decent size ‘loupe

    • September 2, 2011

      Hmmm. I guess it’s good for tiny melons?

  • September 2, 2011

    Mellon balla’ shot calla’.

    Pretty! I’ve never melon-balled. I kinda want to now.

    • September 2, 2011

      Oh man. This needs to be sung next time I’m balling. Melon balling…that is.

  • September 2, 2011

    Mmmm, this looks so good! I wish the melons were ripe enough in the UK for this to taste truly beautiful! However, I did have some pretty mouth watering melon slices in France earlier this week!

    • September 2, 2011

      When do they get ripe in the UK? Lucky you! Melons in France!

  • Leah
    September 2, 2011

    Mmm yum!! I’ve totally youtubed how to cut a mango because I’m always butchering mine … I am so happy other people do this :)!

    • September 2, 2011

      A mango peeler is AWESOME for mango cutting. It peels the skin off easily and then you cut each side in half. Youtube is the greatest!

  • September 2, 2011

    Great recipe and the presentation is beautiful! Last week at la domestique was devoted to melons, and I had a lot of stress over making neat slices and melon balls for presentation.

  • September 2, 2011

    Love how you could take something so simple and make it look so elegant!

    • September 2, 2011

      Thanks, Maris! Some of the best things in life are simple, huh?

  • September 2, 2011

    This looks great: I can’t wait until melons are in season!! The melon balls look so funny sitting there in all their colours, Like funny golf balls or something.

  • September 2, 2011

    I dig that this recipe has four ingredients. It’s one of those things that you don’t have to do a ton of stuff but it looks fancy–which is always appreciated. We are entertaining a bunch coming up and this would be great for a group. I’m also super interested in this Heart of the Artichoke book. It’s a cookbook? Are there stories/essays in it? Tell me about it.

  • April
    September 3, 2011

    This looks like it would be amazing for a potluck I’m going to next week. I’m not sure I could find cantaloupe here, I bet it would still be good with watermelon though, what do you think?

  • September 3, 2011

    AAAH I own the SAME melon baller! I got mine from buying a certain amount of Tupperware from when my sister was a Tupperware salesperson way back in 1983!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I also have been using mine as of late making melon and mozzarella balls for a side salad! It is quite yummy indeedy!

    • September 3, 2011

      That’s TOTALLY where it’s from!!!!! I remember the tupperware party my mom hosted! Crazy!

  • September 3, 2011

    What a beautiful salad!
    I’m sure I used to have a melon baller somewhere…..now where is it….

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