Spicy Sweet Cantaloupe Salad

A white bowl containing Cantaloupe Salad with white burrata, mint, and chilies.

This Spicy Sweet Cantaloupe salad highlights everyone’s favourite melon at the peak of it’s season. Who can resist the the classic combination of spicy melon and cheese? 

How to Fight a Food Rut

Are you stuck in a food rut? Do you eat the same meals and snacks over and over again? Sometimes it’s so difficult to be inspired and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. To combat this I’ll often change directions and do something non food related that makes me happy. It takes my mind off of things and gives me a bit of a reset. I find that having an open mind often leaves room for inspiration. 

Cantaloupe Salad with white burrata, mint, and chilies.

Exploring New Flavour Combinations

For inspiration, one of the best things I did was join a Recipe Inspirations Facebook group. There, we talk about our latest obsessions over flavour combinations. It’s really interesting what like minded folk come up with and sometimes we kind of ‘feed’ off each other, no pun intended. It’s like a foodie brainstorming session. 

Cantaloupe Salad with white burrata, mint, and chilies.

Travel Through Your Taste Buds

Travel can be so incredibly inspiring. It probably comes as no surprise, but I’m one of those people that ‘travels to eat’. No, I don’t have a list of Michelin starred restaurants to check off, I just truly get inspired by the local flavours of my surroundings. Sometimes all it takes is a change in perspective to get those taste buds humming. 

White bowl containing Cantaloupe Salad with white burrata, mint, and chilies.

Cantaloupe Salad Inspiration

As luck would have it, the inspiration for this Cantaloupe Salad didn’t come from too far away. Our first road trip earlier this summer brought us to a small town brewery with amazing food. We were impressed with several items on the mixed board of food that we ordered but our favourite was the cantaloupe salad. It was spicy and sweet, with just a touch of salt and some freshness from the chopped mint. I knew I had to recreate it at home. 

Cantaloupe Salad with white burrata, mint, and chilies.

Fruit and Spice

Pairing fruit with spice is nothing new. However, I had my ‘a-ha!’ moment last year at a street fair here in Calgary. There, I had my first whole peeled mango on a stick from a Latin American food truck. It was ripe, juicy, and coated all over with a chili based spice mix called Tajin (which is also delicious on chopped pineapple). You may have heard of it, if you have been to Mexico or any other Latin American country. It woke up my taste buds and before long they were singing together like a Mariachi band!

A white bowl containing Cantaloupe Salad with white burrata, mint, and chilies.

Cantaloupe Salad with Burrata

Burrata is a wonderful thing. Who could resist a ball of fresh mozzarella with a creamy center? Not me, that’s for sure. In my humble opinion, burrata makes everything better. The original cantaloupe salad that I tried at the brewery did not include burrata but I wanted to make my salad a bit more substantial. I find that fruit and burrata pairs so nicely, like in this Grilled Peach Fruit Salad with Burrata. It’s one of summer’s delicious pleasures.

Cantaloupe Salad with white burrata, mint, and chilies.

How to Buy the Best Cantaloupe 

Buy your cantaloupe in season. In late summer, the cantaloupes grown in the British Columbia Okanagan are at their peak. They are the sweetest and juiciest melons you will ever eat. Forget the winter time cardboard flavoured cantaloupes flown in from who knows where, the time for making this Cantaloupe Salad is NOW. 

Give your melon the smell test. Yes, you ARE the person at the grocery store sniffing melons. 

Feel the melon. If it’s heavy that means it has a lot of juice inside. Buy it. Buy it now.

Study the melon. If it has a yellow or tan raised netting pattern on the outside it’s good. Green does not mean go in this case.

And finally, poke the melon on the stem end. If it moves slightly, then bring that melon home! 

Cantaloupe Salad with white burrata, mint, and chilies.

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Yield: 2 servings

Spicy Sweet Cantaloupe Salad

Spicy Sweet Cantaloupe Salad

This Spicy Sweet Cantaloupe salad highlights everyone's favourite melon at the peak of it's season. Who can resist the the classic combination of melon and cheese?

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 super sweet cantaloupe
  • 1 fresh burrata ball
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp hot pepper flakes (gochugaru or regular chili flakes)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • pinch salt
  • handful of fresh mint; finely chopped

Instructions

    1. Place burrata in centre of serving bowl.
    2. Remove the tough cantaloupe skin and seeds. Cut it into equal pieces or as desired. Place in a mixing bowl.
    3. Add honey, vinegar, salt together in a small jar. Cover and shake. Pour over cantaloupe.
    4. Scatter gochugaru/chili flakes and fresh mint over all and toss to coat. Arrange in serving bowl around the burrata.

10 comments

  1. Katherine | Love In My Oven

    SPICY canteloupe salad!? So clever. It sounds delicious. Canteloupes always seem to be so cheap here too, so this would be an affordable AND delicious side for us!!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Oh, for sure…it’s a tasty salad on it’s own without the burrata.

      Reply

  2. Kelly Neil

    Oh my goodness I don’t know what I love the most! The recipe inspiration group sounds amazing, the mango with chili powder too, and I lovvvveeeeee burrata. I want it all! This is such a fresh and fun new way to eat melon!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Funny thing…after I had posted this recipe, my fave restaurant in town added a similar dish to their menu. We had it on Monday LOL

      Reply

  3. Leanne

    I definitely get stuck in a rut sometimes, and mixing it up with fun flavour combinations like this is a great way to get out of that rut. I love a spicy and sweet combo, and pairing hot spices with sweet fruit is a great idea. Plus, I just love cantaloupe!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I’m so obsessed haha. Yes, cantaloupe is especially good this time of year because it is local.

      Reply

  4. Colleen

    I love this idea! I actually had success growing cantaloupe in my Okanagan garden this year, and although they are pretty small, yes, they are incredibly sweet and juicy. I’m making this simple but delicious salad for sure!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      oh wonderful! Good for you, that’s amazing. I’ve just recently heard it can be grown here in Alberta, though I doubt it would grow in Calgary. It needs heat!!

      Reply

  5. Terri

    I definitely get stuck in food ruts and I love your ideas for breaking out of them! This salad looks great- something I’d never have thought of!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      We can get out of those nasty ruts together Terri!!

      Reply

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