Weeknight Cooking

Cantaloupe Cucumber Salad with Basil and Feta

August 18, 2014

For those nights when you get home hungry, stressed, and impatient, Hangry is here to help. Each Monday, Kendra Vaculin will share quick, exciting meals that anyone can make -- whether you're in your first apartment or feeding a hangry family.

Today: Listen to your body. Listen to your soul. Eat this melon salad for dinner tonight.

Melon Salad

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When I go out to dinner with my friends I sometimes ask them, “What is it that your body needs you to feed it right now?”  What I mean is, “What do you want to eat?” but I’m being as ethereal earth mother clown about it as possible. This is me being the most annoying version of myself. And I am mostly kidding. But there is a part of me that thinks it’s a reasonable question.  

I always want curry -- I am never going to actively refuse curry -- but sometimes it isn’t what my body needs; fulfilling the need rather than the want takes you to a totally different level of dinner nirvana, to dinner enlightenment. Dinner Buddha is there, and he’s like, “Aren’t you glad you didn’t get Thai takeout?” And you’re glowing and full and and floating in the air and you’re like yes, Buddha, yes. You know what I mean if you’ve been there. Or maybe you hate this whole conversation and are like, “Go back to drinking cold brew out of a mason jar and contemplating where to hang your new tapestry, ya freak,” which, okay, that’s hostile, but I get it.

My body has recently only been needing cold fruit, creamy cheese, fresh herbs, and salt. Somehow this combination is the perfect antidote to a humid day, indulgent and light at the same time, and the easiest possible thing to throw together. So make fun of my stomach contemplation and decorative wall hangings all you please; I’ll be up here floating in dinner nirvana with my feta and my cantaloupe when you’re ready to get fed.

Cantaloupe Cucumber Salad Recipe

Cantaloupe Cucumber Salad with Basil and Feta

Makes about 4 cups of salad

Half of a small cantaloupe, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 cucumber (any type will work but hothouse works best), cut into 1/2-inch chunks as well
3 ounces feta, crumbled
6 big basil leaves, chopped
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Shelled sunflower seeds

Coarse salt
Ground pepper

See the recipe (and save and print it) here.

What has your body -- and your soul -- been craving this summer? What have you been feeding it? Tell us in the comments!

Photos by Linda Pugliese

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A fan of female driven comedies, a good beat, your hair today, and making foods for friends.


michele August 25, 2014
I make a similar salad with the addition of kalamata olives and it is fantastic.
Count M. August 19, 2014
Looks delicious, and charmingly written. Thanks!
W A. August 18, 2014
Made this salad tonight WOW!!! Make it soon.
Nancy August 18, 2014
Should have been "shave my cukes & melons" to give a long wide noodle like shape. Kendra - thanks again for posting this.
Nancy August 18, 2014
I developed a similar salad a few years ago. I've riffed on different melons/fruits and found watermelon & pineapple are nice variations. After trying half doz herbs, cilantro (surprisingly bc it's not my favorite) gave salad a great lift & pulled flavors together. Last, I have my cukes & melons, which helps flavors mix & looks nice on a plate.
Allyn August 18, 2014
I love a good succotash for summer dinner. Quick, easy, and healthy. http://girlnamedallyn.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/summer-succotash-salad/. I don't tend to see a ton of salads with cantaloupe, which is a shame. I need to try this!