I made us another rice salad!
This one, though has cantaloupe, which I love so much. It’s one of those fruits that we sort of have year round thanks to…Mexico?….but it’s REALLY good this time of year.
This salad, like most that I make, is totally customizeable – you can switch out the rices/grains that you use, you can add a vinaigrette to make it tangy, you could throw in different cheeses….your choice!
You need couscous, wild rice, canteloupe, kale or spinach, feta cheese, almonds, and pancetta. You could also use prosciutto or even bacon – a pork product makes this YUMMY, though! You’ll also need olive oil and salt, and that’s IT.
….then into little cubes. I’ve seen pancetta pre-chopped in stores, too – that would be great if you could find it! For this recipe, I used 1 1/4-inch slice of pancetta. It’s not a ton, just enough to give a slight salty meaty flavor to the dish. You could use more if you wanted!
And the strips into little bits! Well done. Chopping cantaloupe is kind of a pain. Don’t let it get you down!
I love all the ways we can modify this, too – different veggies, nuts, cheeses….wouldn’t it be great with barley or quinoa? ALSO LOOK AT THESE NAPKINS. They’re from my friend Rebecca – she gave them to me and Jay at our wedding shower. I’m scared to use them because then I’ll have to iron them, so for right now they’re my fav new blog prop. I have issues.
The cantaloupe with the salty pancetta and cheese and crunchy almonds and greens is SO good in this, guys. It can be served warm, room temp, or cold, so try it a few different ways and see what you like best.
- 1/4 cup wild rice, cooked to package directions and cooled
- 1 cup pearl or regular couscous, cooked to package directions and cooled
- 1/4 cup almonds, chopped or slivered, toasted
- 3 ounces pancetta, diced
- 1/2 small bunch kale, washed and leaves thinly sliced
- 2 cups chopped canteloupe
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt, to taste
- Combine the couscous, wild rice, pancetta, kale, and almonds in a large bowl with the olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Taste, and season more to your preference.
- Right before serving, stir in the cantaloupe and feta cheese. Enjoy!
- Timeline: I start the rice and couscous in two separate pots. While that's cooking, I toast the almonds in a large skillet. Then, in the same skillet (almonds removed), I cook the pancetta until crisp and let it drain on paper towels.
- Then, I prep everything else.
- When the rices are cooked and cooled, I combine them with the kale, almonds, olive oil, and pancetta. Right before serving, I add feta and canteloupe, taste for salt, and serve.