This is exactly the kind of light meal a lazy summer day calls for – easy, fast, raw, fresh. It’s inspired by Heidi’s summer melon salad, and is one of several variations I had in mind. The ingredients were on hand for this particular combination and so it materialized as tonight’s dinner. You can leave out the sprouted legumes if you’re going more for a starter salad than a light meal, but they bring a pleasingly subtle crunchy texture that’s less harsh than roasted nuts, as well as balancing out the sweetness of the melon with their sprouty earthiness. Treat the dressing quantities as guidelines rather than strict directions, and adjust the flavours to your liking. If you’re not a cilantro person, mint would probably be a good alternative.
An afterthought: throwing in some very finely sliced shallot or red onion might not be a bad idea. Soak it in the lemon juice for a bit first to mellow it out.
Chili: a fresh chili would work well (better?) too, but alas, the fridge did not provide. The heat level is entirely subject to personal preference, though I quite enjoyed a good, spicy kick. Wasabi might be good here instead?
Summer melon salad
1 light meal or 2 starter salads
Half a small-ish Charentais melon (whole melon weight ~800g), deseeded, peeled and cut into slices or scooped into balls. Other melon types would probably also be delicious.
Half a small avocado, sliced
Juice squeezed from ~5cm piece of grated ginger
Juice of half a lemon
0.5 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp mirin
Pinch of chili flakes
Pinch of salt
Leaves from a few cilantro sprigs, chopped
Alfalfa/rucola sprouts or micro-greens for garnish
A handful of sprouted beans/chickpeas/lentils, optional
To make the dressing, whisk together the ginger juice, lemon, sesame oil, mirin, chili flakes and salt. Toss with the melon, avocado, chopped cilantro, and sprouted legumes and garnish with small sprouts or micro-greens.