June is National Fruits and Vegetables month (yes there’s a national day for everything). So I honor June with a salad of fruit and vegetables. This chard cantaloupe salad is a fresh, summery salad with a creamy basil dressing. The cantaloupe and the basil may be an unlikely pair, but the sweet and savory are a perfect match over a bed of swiss chard.
Chard Cantaloupe Salad Ingredients
Swiss chard is not a common salad green. I eat A LOT of salads so I like mix things up with new and different ingredients. Chard is a little tough for a salad but marinate it in the dressing for 15 minutes and it becomes more tender. The sweetness of the cantaloupe and cranberries are a perfect balance to the bitterness of chard. In addition, bitter foods can be balanced by a sour ingredient. The dried cranberries and creamy basil dressing will add that little bit of sour.
Dried cranberries add beautiful color and sweetness to this salad. Since cranberries are naturally very sour, they do have a lot of added sugar. For a lower sugar alternative, use dried cherries. They have a similar sweet and tart flavor.
Pistachios-If you have a nut allergy, pumpkin seeds are a perfect substitution.
Creamy Basil Dressing
This creamy basil dressing is super easy to make. The blender or food processor will do all of the work. So you’ll dump in all the ingredients and push the button. The dressing is made creamy with plain, unsweetened yogurt. If you are dairy-free or vegan, a vegan yogurt substitution will work well. Greek yogurt is too thick for this recipe but if that’s all you have, add a little extra water to thin it out.
As usual, I acknowledge that everyone’s flavor preferences are different. So I encourage you to adjust the flavors in this dressing. Taste . . . maybe more salt? More sweet? You decide.