Summer means excessive watermelon recipes, and I’m hereee for it. And although the watermelon and chile combo may not be revelatory anymore, I’m still on the train and not getting off. There’s nothing more refreshing than a bright salad with all of our favorite summer ingredients: melons, avocados, and a few veggies and herbs, topped with spices and a citrus dressing to tie it all together.
Many melon salads use tajin, the classic Mexican chili lime seasoning, or the similar TJ’s version. I’m completely addicted to both spice mixes (especially on popcorn), but I find them too salty for fruit salad.
Instead, I like to use Aleppo pepper, a Middle Eastern chili flake that is just slightly spicy and citrusy. This lets me control my spice and salt level for a fresher, more natural taste that complements the fresh fruit and veggies.
This recipe is more like a blueprint for the perfect summer fruit salad-salad. While I stand behind this mixture 100%, it is completely customizable and doesn’t actually require any measuring. No rules here – but highly encourage outdoor eating for peak summer enjoyment.
Spicyish Melon Salad
This Spicyish Melon Salad is endlessly customizable with your favorite summer fruit, veggies and herbs. Top with Aleppo pepper and an easy citrus dressing for your new favorite summer recipe.
For the salad
- 1-2 cups arugula, packed
- 1 avocado, sliced or diced
- 1 cup cherry or mini heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 2 cups watermelon, diced
- 2 cups cantaloupe, sliced or diced
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly torn
- 1/4 cup mint, roughly torn
To dress the salad
- olive oil, for drizzling
- 1/2 lemon or lime, juiced
- flakey sea salt
- 1/2-1 tsp Aleppo pepper
Assemble all of the salad ingredients on a large serving platter or bowl.
Drizzle with a bit of olive oil (no more than a tablespoon – you don’t want to overly dress the salad). Squeeze the lemon or lime over the salad to incorporate the citrus juice. Top with a pinch of flakey sea salt (I use Maldon or Jacobsen) and Aleppo pepper.
This salad is best enjoyed immediately, but can hold up in the fridge for about an hour.
Ingredient list and amounts can be completely customized based on preferences. Swap cantaloupe for honeydew, add feta cheese, change the herbs… endless possibilities.