Honeydew Salad with Spicy Herb Dressing

You know how in the summer you tend to make the same salads with slight variation over and over again?  Yea, this spicy honeydew salad is very firmly not one of those salads.

This is a salad that’s bright, cool, and crunchy while at the same time being savory with a little bit of heat.  It may sound like a lot, but everything sings together in this harmonious tune that just works.  Oh yes, this honeydew and celery salad is going to be a new summer staple without a doubt.

Honeydew & Celery Salad with Spicy Herb Dressing

Confession time:  I am super into podcasts.  I listen to them in the car, while cleaning the house, when I walk my dog, and basically any other point in time when I’m doing some sort of rote or mindless task.  I have a few favorites for food inspired podcasts – the Bon Appétit Foodcast, Milk Street Radio, and The Splendid Table podcast.

The inspiration for this particular recipe came from the Bon Appétit Foodcast’s “All the Veg” episode where they talked about melon in savory dishes.  They brought up honeydew, and while yes of course I knew honeydew was a type of melon, I never thought about it working in the same savory ways as cantaloupe or watermelon (hello cantaloupe & prosciutto, and watermelon & feta).

Honeydew & Celery Salad with Spicy Herb Dressing

Okay, so have I sold you on this honeydew salad yet?  Just make it, you won’t be sorry!

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Spicy Herb Dressing

  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1 cup parlsey leaves
  • 1 ½ cup basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded
  • 1 small clove garlic, smashed
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1 ½ tsp honey
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup avocado oil (or other neutral oil)

For the Honeydew Salad

  • 2 cups sliced celery
  • 2 cups chopped English cucumber
  • 2 cups small diced honeydew
  • 1 small bulb fennel, thinly shaved
  • ⅓ cup Spicy Herb Dressing
  • 8 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • Fennel fronds to garnish

Honeydew & Celery Salad with Spicy Herb Dressing

Start by making the spicy herb dressing.  Add the mint, parsley, basil, lemon juice, jalapeno, garlic, water, honey, and salt to a food processor.  Pulse a few times to break everything up, then blend on low for 15-20 seconds.  Slowly add in the avocado oil while blending.

Give the dressing a little test, it should be a little sweet from the mint and honey with some lingering heat from the jalapeno.  Adjust for more honey, salt, or herbs as desired.

Honeydew & Celery Salad with Spicy Herb Dressing

Next, begin chopping the vegetables for the salad.  For the celery, I like to slice it on the bias to make it look a little prettier, but that’s just personal preference.  For the cucumber, I cut it in half lengthwise then sliced from there.  Since you’re using an English cucumber, you can leave the peel on and seeds in.  I almost exclusively use English cucumbers for this exact reason.

Add the cucumber and celery to a large mixing bowl, and thinly slice your fennel bulb.  If you have a mandoline, you could use it here but it’s not necessary.  Finally, prep your honeydew.  For the honeydew, I diced mine a little smaller than I normally would so that every bite of the salad had a little bit of sweet honeydew in it.

Honeydew & Celery Salad with Spicy Herb Dressing

If you wanted to make this honeydew salad in advance, you could very easily refrigerate all of your prepped ingredients at this point and let them hang out in the fridge for a few hours.  Once everything is prepped, the final steps are a breeze.

Combine the celery, cucumber, honeydew, fennel, and 1/3 cup of the spicy herb dressing in a large mixing bowl.  Stir well to coat every bite in the dressing.  Spoon onto a platter instead of a bowl for serving – this dish is a stunner and you want people to see it.

Honeydew & Celery Salad with Spicy Herb Dressing

Once plated, sprinkle feta cheese all over the top of the salad.  Garnish with chopped fennel fronds to give it just another layer of greenery.  Serve right away while the vegetables are still cold for maximum impact.

Trust me when I say this honeydew salad is everything you want in a light summer dish.  It’s a salad all about contrasts – soft, sweet honeydew with the savory crunch of celery, spicy herb dressing with cool cucumbers, green in every shade with pops of white feta – and it all works in harmony together!

Honeydew & Celery Salad with Spicy Herb Dressing

 Bon Appétit!

Honeydew & Celery Salad with Spicy Herb Dressing

A unexpected and refreshing summer salad that's bright, crunchy, sweet and savory

Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

For the Spicy Herb Dressing

  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1 cup parlsey leaves
  • 1 ½ cup basil leaves
  • ¼ cup avocado oil or other neutral oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 small jalapeno seeded
  • 1 small clove garlic smashed
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1 ½ tsp honey
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

For the Honeydew and Celery Salad

  • 2 cups sliced celery
  • 2 cups chopped English cucumber
  • 2 cups small diced honeydew
  • 1 small bulb fennel thinly shaved
  • cup Spicy Herb Dressing
  • 8 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • Fennel fronds to garnish

Instructions

  1. Start by making the spicy herb dressing. Add the mint, parsley, basil, lemon juice, jalapeno, garlic, water, honey, and salt to a food processor. Pulse a few times to break everything up then blend on low for 15-20 seconds. 

  2. Slowly add in the avocado oil to the other ingredients while blending on low.  Taste and adjust honey or salt as needed

  3. Slice celery on the bias, chop cucumber, and thinly slice fennel.  Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl. 

  4. For the honeydew, dice a little smaller than normal so every bite of the salad has a little bit of sweet honeydew in it.

  5. If making this salad in advance, refrigerate all prepped ingredients at this point let sit in the fridge for up to 6 hours

  6. Combine the celery, cucumber, honeydew, fennel, and 1/3 cup of the spicy herb dressing in a large mixing bowl. Stir well to coat every bite in the dressing. Spoon onto a platter

  7. Once plated, sprinkle feta cheese all over the top of the salad. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds to give it just another layer of greenery. Serve right away while the vegetables are still cold

 



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