Charred Cantaloupe Melon Salad with Rocket, Basil & a Sweet Balsamic Reduction

This one right here is almost too easy to have a recipe. Very few ingredients, very little steps but maximum flavour and colour. This is a great summer salad and goes wonderfully with the strawberry and tomato salad I put up last week.

The pickled red onions in this recipe are always a staple in my diet. I always have them in my fridge and I am forever topping salads and sandwiches with them. This recipe only calls for half of the pickled onion but definitely reserve the rest of the pickled onion in the fridge to use when you like.

Feel free to change the dressing up by using a punchy citrus based one with lemons and limes, it would work wonderfully also.



1/2 cantaloupe melon

2 large handfuls of rocket leaves

1 red onion

2 tbs white wine vinegar

juice 1 lemon

1 tbs caster sugar


2 tbs pumpkin seeds

bunch basil leaves

glug of olive oil

balsamic reduction


  1. Firstly pickle the red onion as this takes the longest. Finely slice the red onion and add it to a jar with the white wine vinegar, lemon juice, caster sugar and salt. Shake well and leave for at least an hour.

  2. Remove the skin from the melon and slice into four wedges. Lightly oil a frying pan and place on high heat. Lay the wedges flat side down and sear for 3 minutes each side so that they become nice and charred.

  3. Place a small amount of rocket leaves to each plate. Place one seared melon wedge on top of the rocket. Scatter the pickled red onion around the plate.

  4. Tear some basil leaves and scatter them on the plate also. Sprinkle over some pumpkin seeds and drizzle over the balsamic reduction and a decent glug of olive oil.

  5. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

note - if you do not have balsamic reduction it is very easy to make your own syrup. Add 4 tbs of balsamic vinegar and 2 tbs of sugar to a sauce pan. Place on medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Turn the heat up and let reduce for ten minutes until bubbly, thick and sweet.

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