Fire up the bbq for this farmers' market-inspired Grilled Cantaloupe Black Bean Salad with charred zucchini, bell peppers, red onion, and cherry tomatoes dressed in a lime vinaigrette. Full of flavor, vegan, gluten-free and can be made ahead!
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Key Ingredients & Substitutions
This one-bowl recipe is a cinch to put together and so versatile. Watermelon and honey dew can be substituted for the cantaloupe, and you can toss in other veggies like corn, green beans and okra as they come to harvest.
I'm a huge fan of grilling fruit and veggies. That sweet, smoky flavor that comes with a bit of char is unbeatable. To get started, simply coat the cantaloupe and zucchini with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. The lime halves were dipped in sugar before hitting the grates to get more caramelization.
The zucchini takes about 5 minutes on each side over medium heat, and the cantaloupe will have those nice grill marks in just 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to overcook! Mushy fruit and veg is not the goal. I kept the peppers and onion off the grill this time around to maintain their crispness and add variety of texture to the salad. But by all means, toss them on if you like.
Once all is cool enough to handle, chop the cantaloupe and zucchini and toss in a large bowl with the rest of the lineup. The concentrated lime juice is the base of the dressing along with a splash of sherry wine vinegar, olive oil and cilantro.
What to Serve with this Salad
I just love these super tasty, easy recipes that can be made ahead and feed a crowd. There's no dairy here so this is a salad that can sit out for a while at your cookout, and can even stand on it's own as a meatless meal. Here are a few main dish ideas this side will complement deliciously.
More Delicious Summer Dishes
Take advantage of summer's bounty with these seasonal recipes that will have your gang coming back for more.
Grilled Cantaloupe Black Bean Salad
- 2 pounds cantaloupe , seeded, cut into wedges, rind removed
- 1 pound green or yellow zucchini , halved lengthwise
- 2 limes , halved
- 4 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Granulated sugar
- 3 15-ounce cans of black beans , drained and rinsed
- 1 large red bell pepper , diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper , seeded and minced (optional)
- 1 medium red onion , thinly sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes , halved or quartered
- 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Tabasco hot sauce (optional)
- ½ cup green onions , thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro , chopped, plus extra for garnish
- 1 avocado , sliced
- Preheat grill on medium. Brush cantaloupe wedges, zucchini and cut-side of limes with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Sprinkle cantaloupe and zucchini with salt and pepper. Sprinkle sugar on cut-side of limes.
- Grill zucchini until charred and softened, 4-5 minutes on each side. Grill the cantaloupe 2-3 minutes per side. Place the limes cut-side down on the grates and grill 3-4 minutes.
- When cool enough to handle, chop cantaloupe and zucchini into ½-inch cubes.
- In a large bowl, combine black beans, bell pepper, jalapeño, and red onion. Gently toss in cantaloupe, zucchini and cherry tomatoes.
- Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, sherry wine vinegar, juice of the grilled limes, Tabasco (if desired), green onion, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer salad to large platter or bowl. Arrange avocado slices and garnish with extra cilantro. Enjoy! (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
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