The weather in Northern California can be downright HOT sometimes. Arizona hot, but with more humidity. Once the thermometer passes the 100° mark just about all Californians can agree on one thing…it’s just hot! Eating starts sliding down the priority list. Barbecues reign as kings because no one wants to heat their kitchen! Cool foods are incredibly soothing, with salads being high on the list of preferences during these heat waves. This recipe came from such a heat wave.
There’s something incredibly enchanting about the salty-sweet combination of chicken salad in a cantaloupe bowl… I’m not quite sure how the concept came about, other than I had a garden fresh cantaloupe, and cold, left over chicken. In my mind it had a great texture and was cool all the way down. The texture, however, is dependent on the quality of the chicken being used. The salad used in this picture came from a store-bought rotisserie chicken (and it truly reminded me why I don’t buy these!!), so it’s overcooked and became much like tuna salad made from canned tuna… Keep that in mind! LOL!!
Chicken Salad in a Cantaloupe Bowl
1/2 cup coarsely chopped, cooked chicken (we prefer breast meat we’ve marinated in mesquite and grilled)
2 Tbsp. finely chopped celery
Shallot or green onion to taste, minced
Mayonnaise enough to bind the salad together
Mesquite seasoning (one of the only mixes I love and can’t live without…Grill Mates Mesquite Marinade by McCormick…)
Mix the ingredients together and allow flavors to blend at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cut a cantaloupe through the equator so you have 2 deep halves. Remove the seeds from the cavity. If you like, slice a tiny sliver off the stem and blossom ends so the “bowl” will sit level and not rock. Fill the seed cavity with the chicken salad and serve…
Serves 1; increase ingredients in equal amounts for additional portions.
This is our Summer standby recipe… The spicy mesquite is cooled by the soothing sweetness of the cold melon… The temperature of the salad doesn’t matter too much. I’ve used cold chicken as well as hot off the grill for the salad. Once the chicken has cooled enough to handle, it’s cool enough to proceed and serve. I used the Mesquite Marinade straight from the package for this salad (store chicken) to season the salad. If you marinate and grill, you probably won’t need any additional seasonings. But…LIVE!! Have fun with this and go your own direction!!
Thanks for stopping by this hot summer’s eve! It was 102° here today…now it’s a toss up between this salad and an ice cream sundae for supper! LOL!