Melon cucumber ribbon salad with melon vinaigrette, a summer salad with a subtle sweet citrus flavor that's super light, refreshing and easy on a hot summer day. Ribbons of honeydew melon, cucumber and a pop of fresh mint and lemon.
why you'll love this melon cucumber salad
- Flavorful: this easy summer salad is super satisfying and flavorful. The honeydew melon and lemon are bright and pair well with the crunch of the hazelnuts. The bright light taste of the melon vinaigrette will surprise you!
- Refreshing: delicate flavors of honeydew melon and cucumber complimented by fresh mint, tangy lemon and a light vinaigrette gives this easy salad the fresh taste of summer. It makes the perfect refreshing side dish.
- Easy: the impressive ribbons makes this simple summer salad look fancy but it's super easy to make. You'll have this light and refreshing salad on repeat all summer.
- Hydrating: with the high water content of melon and cucumber, this light and refreshing salad is super hydrating and full of fresh flavor.
key ingredients and substitutions
- Honeydew melon: is light, sweet and super hydrating. Make sure the melon is just under ripe so it's easier to slice into ribbons. You can substitute with cantaloupe melon for a different color and sweet flavor.
- Cucumber: super hydrating as well. If the cucumber is really seedy, slice ribbons only from the flesh and discard the seeds. You can use any type of cucumber in this recipe.
- Lemon juice and zest: adds a fresh citrusy pop of flavor.
- Fresh mint leaves: pairs well with the sweetness of the melon.
- Red chili flakes: provides a little heat to balance with the sweetness.
- Hazelnuts: give a nice crunch and roasted flavor. You can substitute for chopped pecans, walnuts or sliced almonds.
- Grapes: add another element of flavor and texture.
See recipe card for all ingredients and quantities.
how to make ribbon salad
Make the honeydew melon vinaigrette:
- Combine melon, oil, lemon zest and juice, mint, dijon mustard, chili flakes and sea salt in a small food processor or blender.
- Blend until well combined and smooth or slightly textured.
Make the honeydew melon and cucumber salad:
- Make sure the melon isn't overly ripe. Thinly slice the ribbons with a vegetable peeler.
- In a large bowl, fold honeydew melon and cucumber ribbons over one another so that they are intertwined in a creative way.
- If the cucumber is long, cut in half on the diagonal before slicing into ribbons.
- Tuck grape slices into the salad. Drizzle with melon vinaigrette and top with toasted hazelnuts, mint leaves and a sprinkle of red chili flakes.
tips, tricks and variations
- Ribbons: use a vegetable peeler to make these impressive ribbons. It's quick and easy and makes cleanup a breeze. You can also use a mandoline to speed up the slicing.
- Honeydew melon peel: Make sure to peel off a layer or two of the outermost flesh so you don't have hard bits in the salad.
- Hazelnuts: it's easy to remove the skins off the hazelnuts by roughly chopping first, roasting on parchment paper, then roll or gather the cooled nuts into the parchment and massage or rub the parchment to remove the skins.
- Store: the salad can be made up to 2 hours before serving. Store the dressing and nuts separately if possible to keep the salad crisp when serving. Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container for the next day. It will be a little soft but still have that sweet, fresh summer flavor you're looking for.
Ripe melons release plenty of water when cut and is not always the right choice for ribbons. It's much easier to use a melon that is slightly unripe so that the fruit is more firm and will be easier to peel into ribbons.
Aroma: a sweet floral fragrance of the fruit will be noticeable.
Feel: the outside of the melon will be firm, but will have a slight give when gently squeezed.
Rind: the peel with be creamy yellow in color; a white rind is underripe.
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Melon Cucumber Ribbon Salad with Melon Vinaigrette
- 1 small food processor or blender
- 1 vegetable peeler or mandoline
- 1 large bowl
- 1 cup chopped honeydew melon
- 3 tablespoon neutral tasting oil (I use light tasting olive oil)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon mint leaves, plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes, plus more for serving
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ honeydew melon, rind and seeds removed
- 1 small English cucumber
- ½ cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped, skins removed
- handful of grapes, sliced in half
- For the melon vinaigrette, drain any excess water from the chopped honeydew melon. Combine melon, oil, lemon zest and juice, mint, dijon mustard, chili flakes and sea salt in a small food processor or blender. Blend until well combined and smooth or slightly textured.
- For the ribbon salad, thinly slice the honeydew melon and cucumber (lengthwise) with a vegetable peeler or mandoline.
- In a large bowl, fold honeydew melon and cucumber ribbons over one another so that they are intertwined in a creative way. Tuck grape slices into the salad. Drizzle with melon vinaigrette and top with toasted hazelnuts, mint leaves and a sprinkle of red chili flakes.