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Melon & Jicama Salad with Chile

Melon & Jicama Salad with Chile

on Wednesday, 02 June 2021. Posted in Salads & Dressings, Vegetable & Side Dishes, Recipes

The transition from spring to summer is marked by the arrival of the sweetest local stone fruit, tomatoes and melons. This salad, from our friend Kitty Keller, celebrates the first of the local melons in season, Galia green melon, but you can use whatever melon looks best to you (we love cantaloupe too!). The honeyed flavor of the melon is balanced by crisp jicama, slightly peppery radishes, zingy lime, and a touch of gentle heat from dried chile. Serve alongside grilled meats like chicken, pork tenderloin or thick slices of flame-kissed ribeye. It also makes a light side to any picnic spread paired with sandwiches or a cheese and charcuterie board.

Cook's note: For the chile powder we recommend using a fruity, mild to medium chile, like Marash or Piment d'Espelette.

Recipe by Kitty Keller. Food styling and photography by Marshka Kiera.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 medium ripe melon like cantaloupe or Galia
  • 1/2 cup of jicama, cut into 1/4-inch matchsticks
  • 4–5 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime zest (about one lime)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about one lime)
  • 1/4 teaspoon mild to medium chile powder, such as Marash Chili
  • 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Fleur de Sel, plus more for finishing
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions

To prepare the melon, cut a thin slice off the top and bottom of the melon. Using a sharp knife, cut from top to bottom along the curve of the fruit removing the peel in strips. Halve the peeled melon and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut each melon half in half again, leaving you with four quarters. Place one quarter of the melon on a flat-side down and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch thick pieces.

Transfer the sliced melon to a large bowl and add the jicama, radishes, lime zest, lime juice, chile and fleur de sel. Gently toss to coat and then refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, up to an hour, to let the flavors marry.

To serve, add the cilantro and toss to combine. Arrange the finished salad in a shallow serving platter or bowl. Garnish with an extra sprinkle of fleur de sel, if desired.