Judith Hausman
September 4, 2013


Photo by Judith Hausman

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A summer salad isn’t complete without seafood.

Light and easy, a melon and crab salad with mint and ginger is satisfying, sweet, salty and sour, just right to whet the appetite on a still-summery night or to serve as a full lunch in these last free days of August. A cold rice salad might round out a lunch menu and grilled chicken, with peach or mango salsa, would make a complimentary main course for a dinner meal. 

While, for me at least, several seasoning elements are “exotic,” not local, the core salad ingredients are now in season in the Northeast. I’d avoid canned crab meat, but the refrigerator-case-style is tasty and available if fresh is impossible. You could also use leftover cooked scallops or small shrimp, if you prefer. The pastel combination is very appealing, especially with the peanuts and coconut scattered on top, and can be almost prepared in advance, simply dressing and garnishing it before serving.

Servings: 4 to 6      



  • 1 small cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped


  • 1 2-inchpiece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 medium-hot red chili pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, tender inside only, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar


  • 1/2 pound fresh, lump crab meat
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons peanuts, chopped (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons flaked unsweetened coconut (optional)


Place salad ingredients in a large bowl or on a large platter. 

Mix together dressing ingredients, and adjust seasoning to taste. Spoon dressing over salad. 

Strew the crab meat over the salad and garnish (optionally) with peanuts and coconut.


You might also enjoy these Locavore Recipes: 

Scallop Skewers

Colorful Rice Salad

Read more of Locavore Recipes »

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