Strawberry, Cucumber, and Melon Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

We’ve reached that point with summer here in Louisiana. Where makeup, hair touching my neck, and anything made of denim are not a thing until at least mid-September, where the air conditioner can’t quite keep up, and where turning on my oven is unthinkable. I will take all the fresh fruits and veggies I can get, I’ll use my crockpot, I will grill (as long as I don’t have to stand next to it). I will eat all the ice cream for all the meals if I have to. But don’t make me turn on my oven.

I saw this recipe in this month’s issue of Food Network Magazine–it was actually a recipe for the dressing and then had 3 very different salads that used the dressing. I was intrigued by a few things–way more fruit than spinach, a savory Dijon mustard dressing instead of something sweet, and cantaloupe. I’ve made it 34 years without having cantaloupe in a green salad (although I have many a memory of my mom filling the hole where the seeds were with cottage cheese. One might say I have too many memories of that…)

I was nervous about the dressing, I’ll be honest. Not the dressing itself, I actually really love a good Dijon vinaigrette. But on a fruity salad? I wasn’t so sure. But I lived on the edge. And it was awesome.

For the dressing, you’ll need some white wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil (I used our Lemon Olive Oilgarlic or regular would also be delicious on this particular salad) a little Dijon mustard, some kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.

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In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper.

While whisking, very slowly add in the olive oil (this can also be done in a blender while the blender is running) until the dressing is thick and the oil is completely integrated into the vinegar. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the salad, soak the sliced onion in ice water for about 10 minutes. Place the sliced strawberries, sliced cucumbers, chopped cantaloupe, and drained onions in a large bowl.

Gently toss with 4 cups of baby spinach.

Either dress the entire salad with about 1/3 cup of the dressing, or add the dressing to individual servings (that’s how I like to do it, especially if we’re not going to eat it all at once). This makes an amazing side dish, or top it with some grilled chicken (or serve it alongside grilled chicken, steak, or pork tenderloin). Makes about 8 servings.

 

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Strawberry, Cucumber, and Melon Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

  • Author: Our Best Bites

Description

A cantaloupe on a green salad? With Dijon dressing? Why not! Live life on the edge! The surprising mix of flavors combines perfectly for a great summer meal.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cantaloupe, peeled and chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 4 cups baby spinach (about 4 ounces)
  • Dijon Vinaigrette to taste
  • DIJON VINAIGRETTE
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 56 turns of coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I used our Lemon Olive Oil; garlic or regular would also be delicious)

Instructions

  1. To make the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. While whisking, very slowly add in the olive oil (this can also be done in a blender while the blender is running) until the dressing is thick and the oil is completely integrated into the vinegar. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. To make the salad, soak the sliced onion in ice water for about 10 minutes. Place the sliced strawberries, sliced cucumbers, chopped cantaloupe, and drained onions in a large bowl. Gently toss with 4 cups of baby spinach. Either dress the entire salad with about 1/3 cup of the dressing, or add the dressing to individual servings (that’s how I like to do it, especially if we’re not going to eat it all at once).

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 8

 

 

29 comments

  1. This recipe makes me super extra sad to be allergic to melons. I mean, I know I could take them out, but I am 100% it wouldn’t be nearly as good!

  2. How long would this be good for? There’s only one of me, unfortunately, and I’m not sure if it would last for a full week so I could eat it all? Would the dressing last the whole week?

    Is it easy to half?

    It looks so good though, I might have to make it anyway.

    1. The dressing will definitely last, and it would be very easy to cut in half. One thing you could do is keep the onions, spinach, and cucumbers together and then keep the cantaloupe and strawberries together, then combine them right before serving.

      Hope that helps!

  3. sorry to get off subject…but those measuring spoons intrigue me…are they the same measurements at both ends? Why the different shapes? What am I missing…? πŸ™‚

    1. Ha! Yes, same measurement, just different shape, so if you need to fit it into a bottle, you can (and you can get twice the mileage out of one spoon). They’re also kind of awesome because they’re magnetic, so you can stick them on your fridge or oven and they nest inside each other magnetically.

    1. It tames them down a little so you can eat them raw without alienating those around you. πŸ™‚ It’s a great little trick for salads and sandwiches where you’re eating raw onions and you don’t want them to be so overpowering.

  4. Why soak the onions? Does this make them milder? I love red onions but my kids, not so much. Do your kids like this? I have a super fussy 5 year old.

  5. Had this tonight and it was really yummy. I did not have white wine vinegar so I substituted apple cider vinegar. I also added cubed leftover chicken for a full meal and that is all we ate, my husband and I, just a large bowl of this salad. I think what made it so good was the very ripe cantaloupe we happened to have. That sweet cantaloupe really is good with Dijon dressing! Thanks!

  6. Last night my mom was telling me about the salad she was making from Food Network Magazine, and it sounded so familiar, and finally I realized “Kate posted that this morning!” I’ll have to ask her what she thought of it! I’m working on liking mustard, and so far I do like it in salad dressing, so I’m interested to see if I like a mustard-centric one!

    Love the new blog design, by the way!

  7. It’s definitely a salad day here too. I was planning to make the grilled chicken, strawberry feta salad- we have it about once a week in the summer, but I think we’ll mix it up and try this tonight. Thank you!

  8. I am a Louisiana girl and understand the “don’t turn on the oven” feeling. This salad sounds like a great combination of a lot of my favorite summer foods. My mother always filled the middle of her cantaloupe with vanilla ice cream.

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