A recent issue of Southern Living magazine had featured bacon as its “wonder” dish and demonstrated scads of ways to use this Southern food staple. But Cantaloupe-Bacon Relish? Whoever heard of pairing cantaloupe with bacon (as well as with cucumber and mint) as the magazine suggested?
Guess these cooks figured that if you ever had eaten fruit alongside bacon and eggs for breakfast, you would have ingested this type of mixture anyway. The magazine suggested that the relish be served over fresh salad greens topped by sliced grilled chicken. I had set aside some romaine lettuce from our garden and thought this would be a great way to use it. The recipe also suggests that you could try the relish as an appetizer and serve it atop grilled crostini with goat cheese.
The article from which I borrowed the recipe said pork-lovers playfully refer to bacon as “God’s bookmark” and notes that its sweet-salty-smoky flavor lends a heavenly touch to a variety of foods. Even turkey bacon, which we always use, still qualifies in the “bookmark” category.
Bottom line was, we adored the salad. The flavor combination was intriguing. To quote Hubby, “I’ve never had a salad like that before.”
Better yet, three of the 10 recipe items were plucked straight from our garden (make that six in a few more weeks when our cucumber and cantaloupe crops are ready for harvest). And all the rain we’ve received lately is making that happen sooner than later!
Cantaloupe-Bacon Relish with Grilled Chicken and Salad Greens
1 1/2 cups finely diced cantaloupe
1/2 cup seeded, diced cucumber
5 turkey bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1 green onion, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper and pinch of salt
6 cups romaine lettuce, torn
1 1/2 pounds (about 3) boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, grilled and sliced into strips
In a small bowl combine first eight ingredients. In a salad bowl place torn romaine leaves and grilled chicken strips. Top this with relish. Toss and serve. Serves 4.