This rocket and melon starter is a deliciously fresh and light dish to start off your Christmas dinner. It's extremely quick and easy to make and is gluten free and suitable for vegans.
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We always had melon for our Christmas day starter as a child.
My whole family gathered together at my grandparents' house each year. My grandmother would make a traditional roast, followed by Christmas pudding AND trifle.
After that the presents would be opened, followed by Christmas cake.
But the day always started with melon.
It was usually a simple affair - a slice of cantaloupe or honeydew melon served on a small plate.
A light, refreshing way to start a Christmas meal that would inevitably leave you feeling stuffed!
This melon starter is even better
Rather than just serving sliced melon for your starter this Christmas why not try this rocket and melon salad?
Perfectly sweet cubes of melon are mixed with peppery rocket (arugula) leaves and sweet pomegranate seeds.
The salad is topped with crunchy toasted pomegranate seeds and dressed with a simple olive oil and balsamic mix.
This starter is suitable for the following special diets:
- gluten free
- dairy free
- egg free
It can be adapted to be nut free by replacing the pistachios with sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
This dish is best eaten straight away. If you want to get ahead you can mix the rocket, pomegranate and melon together and store in the fridge.
Add the dressing and the pistachio nuts to the salad immediately before serving.
As mentioned above your melon starter is best eaten immediately.
However, if you do have leftovers you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
More Christmas salads
If you like this then you might like one of my other winter salads:
- clementine, walnut and radicchio salad
- Brussels sprouts and red cabbage salad
- roasted cauliflower salad with pomegranate and dukkah
- colourful cabbage salad
- celeriac salad with chestnuts and blueberries
- Christmas fruit salad
Or you might find some inspiration with these Christmas vegetable side dishes.
To make your rocket and melon salad you'll need:
- 60g rocket leaves (arugula) - roughly 2.5 cups
- 1 melon eg cantaloupe
- Seeds from ½ a pomegranate (roughly 70g)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sea salt - optional
- 30g pistachio nuts - alternatively use seeds eg pumpkin or sunflower seeds
How to make rocket and melon starter
1. Wash the rocket and place in a salad bowl or serving dish.
2. Add the chopped melon.
3. Next and the pomegranate seeds and mix in. If making in advance stop here and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
4. Right before serving mix together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with a little sea salt if using. Add to the salad.
5. Lightly toast the pistachio nuts (or seeds if using) for 2-3 minutes in a dry pan then add to the salad and mix together. Serve immediately.
If you have made this recipe and loved it please consider leaving a comment and rating below.
Please do not reproduce this recipe without permission.
Rocket and melon salad
- Salad spinner (optional)
- 60 g rocket arugula
- 1 melon eg cantaloupe, chopped
- ½ pomegranate deseeded (75g)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- 30 g pistachio nuts toasted seeds
- Wash the rocket in a colander or salad spinner and place in a salad bowl.
- Mix in the chopped melon pieces, followed by the pomegranate seeds. If making in advance stop here and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- When ready to serve mix a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and a tablespoon of olive oil together and season with sea salt if using. Mix into the salad.
- Toast the pistachio nuts in a dried frying pan for 2-3 minutes then add to the salad.
- Serve immediately.
- Nutritional information is approximate and is intended as a guide only.
- Best eaten immediately but can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- Not suitable for freezing.
Pin rocket and melon starter for later
HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?
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Delicious, I love the simplicity of a salad starter and your combination of melon and rocket with the crunch of pistachio and sweet burst of pomegranate is perfect.
Thanks so much Lesley - it really is a delicious combination
Melon and rocket is such a lovely combo, the perfect start to a heavy festive meal.
Thanks so much Carrie
I love that it's so healthy and light! At Christmas I hate to fill up too much and not have room for dessert so this kind of starter is ideal.
Thanks Corina - I think you really do need a light starter like this for Christmas day x
Rebecca - Glutarama
What a lovely meat free starter - you always see melon and Parma ham starters but this sounds delicious with the peppery rocket leaves complimenting the sweet melon. I know my daughter will love this veggie starter idea.
Thanks so much Rebecca, I hope she enjoys it
Midge @ Peachicks' Bakery
LOVE this idea as a starter, what a great flavour combination!
Thanks so much Midge