This Cantaloupe Arugula Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing is a simple spring or summertime salad with surprisingly bold flavours. It's the easiest salad you'll make all year! Keto and Paleo.
This Cantaloupe Arugula Salad looks too simple to have so much flavour! With only three ingredients: sweet melon, peppery arugula and spicy red onions, it's quick to put together, even at the last minute. You'll be amazed at how tasty it is!
Tossed with a slightly sweet, lemon poppy seed dressing, this salad has a beautiful balance of sweet and spicy. Not only that, it's suitable for Keto and Paleo diets, too!
If you've never had a salad made with cantaloupe melon before, now's the time to try one. If you love sweet and savoury flavours in a salad, you'll like Mediterranean Cantaloupe Salad with olives and mint, too.
The secret to this Cantaloupe Arugula Salad is to start with a perfectly ripe melon and the freshest arugula you can find. Nothing compares to the flavour of freshly picked fruit and vegetables. I use arugula from my garden to make this summer salad, but baby arugula is readily available in supermarkets.
If you grow your own arugula, you're guaranteed that it will be fresh! Arugula has a short shelf life. It only last for about 2 - 3 days, so use it right away. If you are buying it, look for leaves that are dark green and richly coloured. Avoid those that are limp or dull.
Have you ever been disappointed when you've cutting open cantaloupe and found that it is either underripe or overripe? Read on for tips to help choose a good one.
How to Choose a Ripe Cantaloupe
Colour. The rind should be cream or yellow-coloured and the webbed pattern should be slightly raised. If it’s green and the webbing is flat, it’s not ripe. A little green is just fine. Unlike other fruit, cantaloupe does not ripen after it has been picked from the vine.
The Belly Button. The stem end should be smooth, round and flat. If it still has a piece of stem attached, it was probably picked too early and will not ripen properly.
Smell. Have a quick sniff of the stem end. It should be fragrant and smell like cantaloupe, but not be overpowering.
Blemishes. Avoid those with bruises or moldy spots.
Feel. It should feel firm but not too firm. Check the ends. It should have a little give, but not be mushy.
- Combine the dressing ingredients first to allow the flavours to blend while you make the salad.
- Wash and dry the arugula leaves.
- Cut the cantaloupe into bite-sized pieces
- Finely chop the red onion.
- Combine in a bowl or a platter and toss or drizzle with Poppy Seed Dressing. Serve and enjoy! It's also delicious with this Sweet Peach Salad Dressing.
Cantaloupe Arugula Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
- 1 medium cantaloupe or 1/2 a large one
- 2 - 3 cups arugula or use half arugula and half lettuce
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
For the dressing
- 2 tbsp olive oil, extra-virgin
- 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 - 2 tsp honey use 0-calorie sweetener for Keto diet
- ½ tsp poppy seeds
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper freshly ground
- Combine the Poppy Seed Dressing ingredients in a small glass jar and set aside to allow flavours to blend.
- Wash the outside of the cantaloupe thoroughly to prevent possible contamination when you slice into it.
- Slice the cantaloupe in half, remove seeds, then cut into wedges. Slice down to the rind to create chunks, then slide a sharp knife underneath to remove the rind and release the chunks. Place in a salad bowl.
- Add washed, dried and torn arugula leaves and finely diced red onion.
- Toss with Poppy Seed Dressing just before serving.
Looking for more fresh summertime salads? Here are a few of my favourites:
This post has been updated with new photos and information.
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