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How to grow (and serve) the perfect July 4 cantaloupe salad

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If you have yard turtles, you will need to put up some kind of a barrier around your melon patch. I suspect there are more than a few squirrels getting a bad rap for turtle chomping. Box turtles love muskmelons.

Cantaloupe stars in a fruity salad

With the Fourth of July coming up, this salad with cantaloupe stars is a great attention getter for a party or picnic, says chef Linda Weiss. Simple and easy,

I made a big platter of baby greens, and used the cantaloupe stars, blackberries, and green grapes. I drizzled the salad with a good store-bought fat-free raspberry-pecan vinaigrette dressing, which has a wonderful flavor. The raspberry-pecan flavor of the vinaigrette enhances the sweetness of the cantaloupe. In other words, the flavors “marry” well.

But if you feel more comfortable making your own vinaigrette or salad dressing, then I suggest that you serve raspberry vinaigrette, French, or Catalina style dressing with the salad.

This is also a beautiful way to serve cantaloupe for brunch. Just imagine a crystal or glass bowl of cantaloupe stars, green grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and mint. How beautiful will that be? Children will love it, too, and this will set you apart from the other cooks.

You can make this a main-dish salad by adding grilled chicken and/or feta cheese.

Cantaloupe Stars With Blackberries & Grapes on Baby Greens

Mixed baby greens to serve 6

Cantaloupe stars (see directions below)

Blackberries or blueberries

Green grapes

Strawberry halves (optional)

Fresh mint, cut into narrow ribbons

Lime zest (to taste)

Raspberry-pecan vinaigrette (store-bought is fine)

Put the mixed baby greens on a large platter. Place the cantaloupe stars around and on the greens. Add the blackberries, grapes (and strawberry halves if using them). Add the fresh mint and lime zest to the top of the salad. Add the vinaigrette and serve immediately. Serves 6.

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