Dinner Rush! Tomato-Cantaloupe Salad w/ Lemon Grilled Shrimp

By: Patrick Decker

Melons, melons, everywhere, so what do we do now? If you're tired of eating them as simple wedges, try incorporating them in your savory dishes.

When paired with fresh zucchini, corn or, in this instance, tomatoes, melons make an affordable and delicious side salad that’s perfect for lazy backyard barbecues. They’re adaptable, versatile and practically begging to be tossed with fresh herbs and fruity olive oil.

While the combo in this recipe uses cantaloupe, feta and tomatoes for heartiness, you can lighten things up with watermelon or go green with a blend of honeydew, cucumbers and basil. Just be careful with all of this experimenting — you might never be able to look at a wedge of melon the same way again.

Tomato-Cantaloupe Salad with Lemon Grilled Shrimp
Total Time: 20 min
Prep: 12 min
Cook: 8 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy
For the salad:
1/2 cantaloupe, seeded, quartered and thinly sliced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper
For the shrimp:
20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon, one half juiced and the other half cut into wedges
One 4-ounce block feta, sliced

Preheat a grill to medium-high.

In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the salad and season with salt and pepper. Let marinate for 10 minutes.

Toss shrimp with dried oregano, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Thread shrimp onto metal skewers and grill until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

Serve melon salad with grilled shrimp skewers, slices of feta and wedges of lemon.

Cook's Note: If you don’t have metal skewers, you can use wooden ones instead. To prep wooden skewers for grilling, add them to a baking dish, cover with cold water and soak for 20 minutes to keep them from burning on the hot grill.

Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has, probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary teams for Food Network stars Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, Marc Forgione and Bobby Deen, he now works on digital production for FoodNetwork.com, CookingChannelTV.com and Food.com in NYC by day and develops recipes at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following him on Twitter & Instagram at @patrickwdecker or visiting his website at patrickwdecker.com.

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