On our trip back to the US this past summer, we went on our annual Road Trip To Canada, driving all the way from San Jose, California to Vancouver, British Columbia. One stop on our trip was to see our friends, Tanya and Bevan Frizzell in Calgary, Alberta (bad me for not getting a photo with them to include in this post!). They kindly and generously invited us into their home for an evening, filled with great food and conversation.
One of the several dishes they served up for dinner that night was a crazy good Pistachio Cranberry Melon Salad. Despite being quite different from the usual side salad, I was immediately inspired by this dish and I knew right that I had to write this up for the blog!
I have to admit that initially, I wasn’t sure about this melon salad. It wasn’t the typical vegetable salad that goes along with a steak dinner! However, I was pleasantly surprised and it turned out to be a perfect companion to the other dishes!
This pistachio cranberry melon salad is a feast for the eyes and the palate. Juicy chunks of green honeydew melon, crisp pistachios, deep red cranberries, fresh creamy Parmesan shavings, all speckled with a mustard-based dressing. That’s just the visual.
The taste? Sweet juicy honeydew. Nutty crunchy pistachios. Plump chewy dried cranberries. Salty Parmesan shavings. Tangy and mildly sweet mustard dressing.
Oh. My. Goodness. YUM.
As I encourage with any recipe, you can play with the ingredients to what suits you. Try different nuts like cashews or almonds. Use cantaloupe instead of honeydew, or change the texture and flavor of the fruit component completely and use apples or pears. Try this with dried cherries (I did!). If you like a stronger cheese flavor, try Pecorino Romano.
The thing I love most about this pistachio cranberry melon salad is that it’s a refreshing change from the usual vegetable salad. It’s light, has a great blend of flavors and textures, and despite being quite different, it goes insanely well with a savory main dish. You have to try serving this with your next meal! Why not give it a go? Let me know what you decide to pair this salad with and leave a comment below!
Pistachio Cranberry Melon Salad
- 1 medium-large honeydew melon
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries (dried cherries also work)
- 1/4 cup shelled pistachio nuts, lightly toasted
- Shaved fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 1/2 tsp stone ground mustard
- 1 small garlic clove, minced or grated
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk together well. Set aside.
Cut honeydew, removing skin and seeds. Cut honeydew flesh into small chunks. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Drain juices from cut honeydew. Gently mix with dried cranberries and dressing.
Top with pistachios and shaved Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
In Your Kitchen:
Try subbing cantaloupe melon, or for something completely different, try apples or pears.
Use different nuts like cashews or almonds.
For a stronger cheese flavor, try Pecorino-Romano.