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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!