Honeydew and Cucumber Salad with Daikon, Cilantro and Chilies


Photo by Michael Piazza / Styled by Rachel Caldwell

Thinly sliced honeydew and cucumber, in their barely distinguishable ’80s celadon, make a terrific team. Melon and cucumber come from the same family and share a natural affinity on the plate—fun and a little surprising. Here their cool sweetness is balanced with daikon’s subdued funk and punched up with a little heat from whatever spicy pepper you’ve got on hand. The recipe can easily be doubled to serve a larger cookout crowd—serve it with simple grilled fish or, on the hottest, laziest day of the year, with ceviche or crudo.

Serves 4 to 6

½ large daikon, peeled and sliced thin with a mandoline
½ large honeydew, peeled and sliced thin with a mandoline
½ large English cucumber, peeled, sliced lengthwise and seeded
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 scallions, minced, white parts only
½ cup cilantro leaves, packed
½ Serrano or Jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

In a large bowl, combine daikon, honeydew and cucumber. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, scallions and a large pinch of salt.

Drizzle dressing over ingredients, toss gently to coat (you may have some left over).

Arrange dressed ingredients on a serving platter. Sprinkle with cilantro and jalapeño; serve.

This recipe appeared in the Summer 2019 issue as part of a larger story on Melon.