Corn and Cantaloupe Salad

It’s that time of year when refreshing summer produce is in full swing, the perfect accompaniment to hot and sunshine-filled days. For evenings when you don’t want to spend a lot of time at a hot stove, try this unique corn and cantaloupe salad instead. It’s the perfect balance of salty and sweet, and it’s a great go-to for potlucks or lunches; you can even serve it as a side dish with whatever you’re taking off the grill.

Cantaloupe is one of my favorite summer fruits, though it can be tricky to pick a ripe one from the market. Because the melon is the star of this dish, its quality and taste will change the overall outcome. The best way to pick a cantaloupe is to smell the round section where the vine was attached; it should have a sweet, slightly musky scent. A ripe cantaloupe will be orange or golden in color and feel heavy for its size. Avoid melons with too much green or white color.

This recipe calls for barely cooking the corn to eliminate some of the rawness, but if you can get your hands on really fresh, sweet corn, feel free to forgo the cooking process altogether and add the raw kernels right to the salad. The briny feta cheese perfectly balances the juicy cantaloupe and sweet corn kernels, though Gorgonzola or blue cheese can be used instead.

Corn and Cantaloupe Salad
Makes 6 servings

3 ears fresh corn
1 medium cantaloupe, chopped (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup torn basil leaves
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the corn ears, reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 4 minutes. Remove corn from water and let cool until able to handle. Cut off corn kernels and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the corn kernels with all remaining ingredients. Toss to combine, check seasonings and serve immediately.

Per serving (about 1 cup): Calories 120; Fat 4 g (Saturated 2.1 g); Cholesterol 11 g; Sodium 211 mg; Carbohydrate 19 g; Fiber 2.3 g; Sugars 8.8 g; Protein 4.2 g

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