How to grow (and serve) the perfect July 4 cantaloupe salad
A gardener and a chef team up with advice on growing and serving muskmelons, or cantaloupe, including a recipe that can star in your Fourth of July cookout.
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But if you feel more comfortable making your own vinaigrette or salad dressing, then I suggest that you serve raspberry vinaigrette, French, or Catalina style dressing with the salad.Skip to next paragraph
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This is also a beautiful way to serve cantaloupe for brunch. Just imagine a crystal or glass bowl of cantaloupe stars, green grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and mint. How beautiful will that be? Children will love it, too, and this will set you apart from the other cooks.
You can make this a main-dish salad by adding grilled chicken and/or feta cheese.
Cantaloupe Stars With Blackberries & Grapes on Baby Greens
Mixed baby greens to serve 6
Cantaloupe stars (see directions below)
Blackberries or blueberries
Strawberry halves (optional)
Fresh mint, cut into narrow ribbons
Lime zest (to taste)
Raspberry-pecan vinaigrette (store-bought is fine)
Put the mixed baby greens on a large platter. Place the cantaloupe stars around and on the greens. Add the blackberries, grapes (and strawberry halves if using them). Add the fresh mint and lime zest to the top of the salad. Add the vinaigrette and serve immediately. Serves 6.
Cutting the cantaloupe -- Use a sharp knife and peel the melon by standing the melon on one end and cutting down the sides. Cut the melon into quarters and then lay the quarter horizontally, and then slice the quarters through the middle horizontally. The melon should now be thin enough to use the cookie cutters to make stars. Put the stars in a bowl until ready to use, and save the leftover pieces for another use.
Editor's Note: To read more of Anne and Linda's "how to grow and prepare" series, click here.
Linda Weiss and Anne Moore met while Linda was the food editor and Anne was the garden editor for South Carolina Homes & Gardens magazine. They now write articles for the ETV GardenSMART television show website, where Anne is the horticulture editor, gardening consultant, and e-newsletter editor. Anne has written for magazines and newspapers. She is a member of and a recipient of a Silver Award for magazine writing from the Garden Writers Association. Linda is a personal chef. She attended Le Cordon Bleu of Paris’ catering program, has appeared as a guest chef on numerous television shows, has been a culinary educator for 10 years, and a food writer for a number of magazines. She is a professional member of The James Beard Foundation and the Southern Foodways Alliance. She has written a cookbook, "Memories From Home, Cooking with Family and Friends."