This salad felt a bit like a dare. Melons, peanuts, fish sauce. It is an unusual mix of ingredients, for sure.
The recipe comes from Cooking in the Moment by Lantern’s Andrea Reusing. I’m not the first blogger to be charmed by this book. It has the sort of specificity that elicits trust, and so far it deserves the trust. The book is a collection of seasonal recipe that you simply want to make.
I like melon salads and soups and especially love melon when it approaches savory territory, which this does very beautifully. The fish sauce adds a deep saltiness that is perfect. Make it before summer slips away.
On a somewhat related note, I have no idea how to use a melon baller. Are they ever really balls? Are my expectations too high?
Spicy Melon Salad with Peanuts and Mint (recipe from Cooking in the Moment by Andrea Reusing)
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
- 1 large fresh red Thai chile, with seeds, finely minced, or to taste
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar, plus more if needed
- 2 small ripe melons
- 10 fresh mint leaves, torn into thin strips
- 3 tablespoons chopped salted roasted peanuts
In medium bowl, combine lime juice, chile, fish sauce and sugar with 2 tablespoons water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Cut each melon in half and remove seeds. Using a melon baller, scoop out flesh to make about 4 cups melon balls total. Add melon balls to dressing and toss. Let marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to several hours.
To serve, toss with mint, divide among bowls and sprinkle with peanuts.