Food & Drink

Three Melon Salad

Excerpted from Lucinda Scala Quinn’s Mad Hungry Family (Artisan Books).

There are times when you crave sugary desserts like a crisp or crumble, and times when you want refreshingly fruity ones. Different melons, such as orange cantaloupe, pink watermelon, or green honeydew, present a vibrant array of colors and tones, and when teamed with fresh herbs, they combine for a satisfying nonfat salad or dessert. Sometimes, I’ll put a different color of melon in its own clear bowl and use a different herb for each one. Fresh lemon verbena, mint, cilantro, and basil would complement any of the melons.

Three Melon Salad


  • ½ cantaloupe
  • ½ green melon, such as honeydew or Santa Claus
  • ½ small seedless watermelon
  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime


  1. Scrape out the seeds from the melon halves, then cut the melon halves into ½-inch slices and cube each one, cutting off the peels as you work. You will have about 2 cups cantaloupe, 2½ cups honeydew, and 3½ cups watermelon.
  2. Place the fruit in a large serving bowl. Tear the mint leaves over the melon salad and pour the lime juice over all. Toss gently to mix.

Good to Know: How to Choose a Melon

When you’re faced with that sometimes daunting task of choosing a melon, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you get a good one.

  • First, lift up the melon. It should be heavy for its size, which means it’s suitably juicy.
  • Knock the outside of several fruits. A high-pitched sound indicates an unripe fruit, while a low-pitched one can be overripe. Choose something in the middle.
  • Smell it. Regardless of what variety you’re choosing, it should smell slightly sweet and reminiscent of how the flesh tastes. If it has no scent, it’ll have no flavor.

About the Book:

Author of the beloved Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys, Lucinda Scala Quinn is the country’s foremost evangelist for family meals every day of the week. And she knows that the only way to make them a reality is by building a repertoire of dishes that are quick and easy to prepare, and guaranteed to please. In Mad Hungry Family, Scala Quinn has collected all the no-fuss, big-flavor recipes that send her family stampeding to the kitchen table—from flat roast chicken to second-day spaghetti pancakes—and peppered them with tips, tricks, and solutions learned over a lifetime of cooking both professionally and for her family of five. Here are survival strategies for nothing-in-the-fridge crises, feeding unexpected guests, getting Thanksgiving dinner on the table before your family revolts, and more. Also included are primers on the ingredients and techniques you need—and permission to ignore those you don’t. With soulful, satisfying recipes and real talk about what it takes to make family meals a reality, Mad Hungry Family is the “you-can-do-this” handbook every home cook needs.

Buy the Book
Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Workman

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