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Awesome Spicy-Sweet Cantaloupe Slaw

Spicy-Sweet Cantaloupe Slaw

Cantaloupe is another CSA adventure for us. Both of us kind of like it, but not nearly as much as the other fruit that tempts us at the farmer’s market – peaches, blueberries, raspberries… Yum! When it showed up in our share last week, I ate two slices then cut up the rest and froze it. Granted, we just got an awesome chest freezer, so I’m a little freezer-happy at the moment, but still. It’s kind of embarassing. I was determined not to do that again, so I hunted and hunted for a recipe to blow me away. There are a million (seriously, a million) recipes for the melon, cured meat, soft cheese, and viniagrette combo, but I’m on a very strict diet to help control my migraines and can’t have cured meat, cheese, or vinegar. Gah! Of course, all those recipes looked delicious and made me hungry. So then I took a lunch break.

After lunch, I gave up on the melon and started looking for fun slaw recipes to tackle the two heads of cabbage we also got from the CSA. Double success! With just a few modifications to a mango slaw recipe from Smitten Kitchen to accomodate my weirdo diet and what we had on hand, lunch was served.

This might be my new favorite salad. It’s crunchy, spicy, and sweet. Like any slaw, it takes quite a bit of chopping, but just take your time to cut things roughly the same size.

Slicing up the cantaloupe

Spicy Sweet Cantaloupe Slaw
Serves 6 as a side or 3 as a main

Amount Ingredient Preparation Where we bought it (USM = Somerville’s Union Square Market)
1/2 cup Nuts or seeds Roughly chopped if large; we used cashews.
1/2 small Cantaloupe Red Fire Farm CSA
1 small Nappa cabbage About 12 ounces Red Fire Farm CSA
1 Poblano pepper Use a bell pepper if you’re really sensitive to heat. USM
2 Red spring onions Substitute 1 red onion, if neccesary USM
About 1/4 cup Cilantro Chopped USM
1 TBsp Mint Chopped USM
1/4 cup Lemon juice
2 TBsp Vegetable oil We used part olive and part sunflower oil. Stolor Organics
1/2 tsp Salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toast the nuts or seeds on a baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes. Smaller nuts/seeds will need less time, so keep an eye on them. Give the pan a shake once during cooking so that they brown more evenly. While they’re toasting, work on the veggies, but don’t forget about the nuts! Once they’re done, let them cool while you finish up.
  2. Prep the cabbage: Remove the outer leaves. Quarter the cabbage from the North to the South Pole. Holding your knife at an angle, cut out the core and discard. Slice each cabbage quarter into short, thin ribbons. Put the ribbons into a big bowl.
  3. Prep the pepper: Quarter the pepper from the North to the South Pole. Remove the stem, seeds, and membranes using your fingers and discard. Slice each pepper quarter into short, thin ribbons. Add these to the bowl with the cabbage.
  4. Prep the onions: Remove the outer layer of each onion. Slice each onion from the North to the South Pole. Slice each onion into thin, half-moon slices. Add these to the bowl with the cabbage and peppers.
  5. Prep the cantaloupe: Halve the cantaloupe from the North to the South Pole. Set aside one half to use for something else. Use a spoon to scoop the seeds out of the half you’re using. Slice that half into as many equally sized wedges as you’d like. We did eight, but it depends on the size of your melon. Smaller wedges are better. Lay a wedge on it’s side and cut the rind off. Cut the wedge into thin slices like you’re cutting a banana. Repeat with the other wedges and add to the bowl with the rest of the vegetables.

    Removing the rindThinly slicing the cantaloupe wedges

  6. Add the cilantro and mint to the bowl.
  7. Put the lemon juice and salt in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil.
  8. Pour the dressing over the slaw. Add the cashews and mix well.

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