Jingly melons

Savory melon salad recipe

Flirty fruits | November 21, 2014 | By

Now there’s a blog post title that creates some mental imagery, no?

Here comes Part 2 in my three part series “Big odd green things I found at the grocery store this week.” Check out Part 1 here. And scootch on over to the edge of that seat to prepare for Part 3.

Behold, the Santa Claus melon:


Oops, wrong Santa melon. And really, Marlboro?

Santa Claus Melon

There’s the right one, now.

I wish I had known why the Santa melon is called that before I hacked it open, because it would have made a great Christmas post — it gets its name because even though these things ripen in the summer, they keep until Christmas. Handy! Especially because Part 3 of this series has already rotted on my counter and I have to go buy another one now.

The Santa Claus melon is also called “piel de sapo” which translates to “toad skin.”

Ugly toad

Those food nomenclature people really do know how to come up with appetizing names, don’t they? Anyone have a hankering for some head cheese? Maybe some spotted dick?

Anyway. I wanted to make something dangerous with my melon, but when I googled around, I just couldn’t find anything interesting. There were lots of desserts, or fruit salads, or “soups” (pureed melon) but I wanted something savoury. So I had to make it up. My husband didn’t complain, so let’s call my experimental recipe a success. Here it is:

Toad skin salad

  • Toad skin melon, peeled, de-seeded, and cubed (I don’t believe in including amounts for salad recipes, because I believe cooks should have enough confidence to make the amount and distribution of ingredients that they like best. Use the cooking force, Luke, and rule the salad galaxy)
  • Cucumber, cubed
  • Red onion, diced
  • Pancetta, diced, fried, and cooled
  • Fresh mint, chopped (don’t be shy with it — very important ingredient)
  • Fresh basil, chopped
  • Glug of olive oil
  • Black pepper

Here is what the inside of my Santa melon looked like

Seeded santa melon

And here is what the salad looked like

Savoury melon salad

Results: This salad must have been good, because I found myself snacking on it by the handful until my husband got home. If you should ever happen to eat at my house, know that I’ve already snacked all over whatever I’m making for you if it’s good. I mostly always wash my hands first (ha! Kidding. I mean, kidding about the mostly part). The Santa melon was a hit, especially on its own with my kids. It’s sweeter than a honeydew and less perfumy. If you see one, definitely give it a try — it keeps forever, and has a really nice flavour. My new favourite melon. And as for the salad, go ahead and make it with your favourite melon if you can’t find one of these. Loved it. Rating: 4 Yums Santa’s gob would be so busy scarfing down this salad that he’d have to keep all his Hos to himself. He’s be ho-less. At a loss for hos. Keep it going with me, people.


  1. Leave a Reply

    November 23, 2014

    Wrong Santa, wrong melon, right toad, wonderful recipe!! I tried it already!! Thank you Ann. (we have almost the same melons, here)

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      November 23, 2014

      So glad you tried and enjoyed it, Christina! Imagining sharing a dish with you even though an ocean separates us is a pretty neat thing!

  2. Leave a Reply

    November 26, 2014

    I’ve never seen or heard of it before, but it sounds like something I will try if I do! I like melons and would be interested in trying one that isn’t so huge. 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      November 26, 2014

      I don’t mind big melons (oh, the grade-five-boy comments I just opened myself up to) but these are definitely a good size. Thanks so much for stopping in!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Trevor aka The Burger Nerd
    November 28, 2014

    Santa Melon? Who the what?

    Sounds like something I’d dig especially since I often seem to neglect honeydew or cantaloupe until they’ve expired on my counter. I usually purchase them with the intent of eating a bit healthier but then find myself too full after eating a burger, chips, and soda lol. I like the idea of having a melon that can last half a year because I dislike the idea of throwing out food. Great post as always and LOOOOVE the smoking Santa pic.

    Sorry for the tardy comment but I was busy with my newborn “mini-burger”. The Burger Nerd is now officially a proud Poppa Burger! Haazahhh! 🙂

  4. Leave a Reply

    Ann Allchin
    November 28, 2014

    Awwwww congratulations, Poppa! Great news! Boy or girl slider? I’m thinking boy. So glad that you’ll have a little one to share your burgers with! Your kid birthday parties are going to be the best ones on the block. In McDonald’s playland, but with imported homemade gourmet burgers? I can see it now!! Hope all went okay with Mrs. Nerd’s delivery and that everyone is happy and healthy.

  5. Leave a Reply

    Trevor aka The Burger Nerd
    November 29, 2014

    Thanks Ann,

    Your gypsy ways are right again…he’s a wee little cute boy named “Cole Wesley Davis” 🙂 Mrs. Nerd’s delivery was pretty long. 26 hrs of induced labor, but only one minute of pushing. He literally slid out like a penguin on ice after three big pushes. Beautifully mind blowing and freaky at the same time. And a nervous Poppa Nerd used his chef skills to cut the cord….btw, it felt like cutting calamari lol.

    Thanks for the kind and thoughtful words 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      November 29, 2014

      Aw!! Awesome!! He has a great name. This gypsy predicts that he’ll have a fantastic life with a very loving Poppa. And that his Poppa will never think of calamari the same way again. 🙂

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>