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Casaba Cucumber Salad

As I write this, I’m in Cape Cod, and I just found a casaba melon at the market. I seldom find them in Los Angeles. I suspect they’re too busy with other pursuits to be hanging out at Ralph’s. (If you are wondering what other pursuits a casaba melon could possibly have, well, my friend, click here and your appreciation of this lovely fruit will deepen, trust me.)

Anyway, whatever their other agenda, casabas apparently like to summer in Cape Cod. I took one home and stared at it for a while, wondering how I could mess with it, turn it into something more interesting than just a juicy slab on a plate. I had basil and a lemon. Some Recipe Angel whispered in my ear, telling me to go back to the store and get a cucumber and some feta cheese. I did that, on a bike. Then I started chopping.

When I was finished, I had this salad, which seemed kinda great on a ninety degree, summer vacation day: cool, light, sweet. Try it. If the casabas in your neighborhood are too busy with other pursuits to be available, try cantelope or watermelon.


½ casaba melon, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cucumber

2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons champagne (or white wine) vinegar

Grated zest of one lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup crumbled feta cheese

Place the melon in a salad bowl. Peel the cucumber, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds with a melon scoop or a spoon. Thinly slice the cucumber and add it to the melon, along with the basil.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, vinegar and lemon zest. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow drizzle. Add some pepper, about 8 twists of the mill, and stir. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.

Serve the salad on individual plates or in bowls, each serving sprinkled with a spoonful of feta cheese.

Serves 4.

Variations: Use mint instead of basil.

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