Burst of big tastes with melons

08/06/2012 5:00 AM

08/08/2012 7:33 AM

A good melon is way too wonderful to be treated only as a sweet.

There are plenty of traditional examples of this. The most obvious is melon and prosciutto, and a very good one it is: the satin saltiness of the ham playing against the buttery sweetness of the melon. That’s only the beginning of possibilities.

Watermelon is so explosively juicy and sweet that you can add all kinds of big tastes — not just salty feta but also jalapenos, toasted cumin, lime and fresh mint — without overwhelming it. In this watermelon salad, the whole is even greater than the sum of its parts, no matter how large they might be.

That’s not to say that the only way to create a melon salad is by making sure every ingredient is screaming at the top of its lungs. Another favorite is the relatively sedate pairing of cantaloupe, smoked chicken and arugula.

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