You think tomatoes do a lot for a salad? Wait until you taste what cantaloupe or other melons can achieve. Why we don’t use them this way all the time is a mystery.
Summer greens have an amazing range of tastes and textures — from tart to almost sweet, from crunchy to melting. You want them all in this salad. Whatever you can find in the market will make it all the better. The melon should be slightly underripe so it’s almost crisp.
Dress and serve immediately.
1. Combine onion and ice water and refrigerate 30 minutes to rid the onion of its sharp edges.
2. Wash and thoroughly dry the greens. With your hands, tear them into bite-size pieces. Turn into a big salad bowl.
3. Just before serving, drain the onions and pat them dry. Sprinkle the greens with the melon, sunflower seeds, herbs, salt, pepper, and drained onions.
4. Don’t dress the salad until you’re ready to serve it. With your hands, gently toss the salad with enough oil to barely coat the greens. Use about 2 tablespoons to start. Toss with vinegar to taste, starting with 2 tablespoons. Taste for balance as you go, making sure the vinegar is assertive, but not harsh. Once the salad is where you want it, serve it up.
From A Summertime Grilling Guide by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift. Copyright © 2012 by American Public Media.
Darra Goldstein is editor in chief of The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, an 888-page reference guide to all things sweet. "The book is really a compendium of human desires, a cultural history of desire for things that are sweet and what it has caused in the world, in both the realm of pleasure and also of pain," she says.