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Vietnamese Cucumber and Melon Salad with Peanuts


When I got home from my retreat last week, the fridge was bare. The kids and I had to go out for breakfast on Sunday morning for lack of fruit, bread, milk, or eggs. Amazing! Monday I could hardly close the fridge!

Once the grocery shopping is done, I often spend a good 2 hours in the kitchen--cleaning the fridge, consolidating boxes of crackers, freezing overly ripe bananas for smoothies, and washing veggies for the week. If I don't make time for this task (which, crazily, I actually LIKE), I am sure to be frustrated and impulse-eating by Wednesday. A giant bunch of unwashed kale taking up a whole shelf in the fridge isn't nearly as likely to be sauteed with eggs in the morning as a neat like bag of washed and chopped kale. I overestimate myself if I think otherwise.

This week, I cut up a cantaloupe and a pineapple. I washed two big bunches of cilantro and a head of lettuce, roasted a head of cauliflower, made a big batch of brown rice, and rescued half a head of radicchio that looked past its prime but actually just needed a little trimming.

I was famished by the time I was done. And of course, inspired by handling all those beautiful fruits and veggies. This salad is what I made for lunch. My goodness. It's not summer here in the Northwest, but this salad tricked me. Juicy, sweet, spicy, sour, crunchy. A delicious little number to bring to a potluck or BBQ and infinitely more fascinating that the other salads that might be sitting on the table. (I'm always looking for a chance to be popular. At least I admit it.)

Vietnamese Cucumber and Melon Salad with Peanuts
Gently combine about 1 c. each of thickly sliced cucumber, pineapple, and cantaloupe in a medium bowl. Add a good portion of cilantro (I used stems and all), mint leaves, celery leaves, thinly sliced red onion, and fresh chile if you wish. Add 1 Tb. sugar, a good jigger of fish sauce, salt, juice from half a lime, and about 1 Tb. of sesame oil. Combine gently with your hands, and scatter chopped salted peanuts over the top. Serves 1 famished Household Coordinator or 2 more petite eaters. Eyeball it for a crowd. 

Reader Comments (8)

All righty, then! It's time to get us both tucked into bed, and whattya know?! IPOL has published a PHOTOGRAPH of something so deliciously summery that I'm almost hungry enough to start looking for its ingredients! Now that, Sarah, takes some talent! Tomorrow I'll indulge us. (And there's no melon in our house currently; everything else is right here and ready....or growing in the tubs lining our driveway) You'll hear from me if I've laid awake for awhile with growling stomach, imagining the sweet, juicy, salty, spicy, crunchy contrasts in this!
June 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLynn M
I'm going to try this with sunflower seeds. Looks very refreshing.
June 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEm
I assume you have read Tamar Adler's wonderful book or watched her little videos at her site. You would love all of it.
June 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElenor
Wow, wow, wow!! This looks fantastic.
June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia
I haven't stopped by for ages - so sorry about that! Glad that you are having a great summer so far!
June 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiz
Sarah, I have to tell you that I brought this to two summer get togethers and have received rave reviews. Thank you--it is yummy.
July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCindy
The flavors are brilliant. Thank you!
August 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh-Anne
Equally delicious with papaya instead of melon, if that's what happens to be available on your side of the world....
July 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

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