Curried Chicken Salad with Melon and Toasted Almonds

Casabas with firm white or green flesh add unexpected nuance to this salad and balance the sweet and savory flavors of curry. Makuwa melons such as Chamoe would work well, too.

Yields 4 servings


½ Cup Raw Unsalted Almonds, 2 Tablespoons Reserved for Garnish
1 Lemon
¾ Pound Cooked Chicken or Turkey Breast or Thigh Meat, Cut into ½-Inch Cubes (About 2½ Cups)
2¾ Cups ½-Inch Cubes Melon of Your Choice
1½ Cups Diced Celery (About 4 Ribs)
4 Scallions, Thinly Sliced, 2 Tablespoons Reserved for Garnish
½ Cup Coarsely Chopped Cilantro, 2 Tablespoons Reserved for Garnish
½ Cup Coarsely Chopped Dried Cherries
¹⁄3 Cup Plus 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
¹⁄3 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
2 Teaspoons Curry Powder
¹⁄2 Teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
1 Garlic Clove, Cut in Half
4 Slices Miche or Other Rustic Country Bread, Halved, Toasted
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (For Drizzling)
4 Leaves Bibb or Other Soft Lettuce, Torn
Flaky Sea Salt
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Spread nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant and lightly golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer nuts to a plate and let cool completely, then coarsely chop.
  • Finely grate zest from lemon, then squeeze 1 tablespoon juice. Place zest and juice in a large mixing bowl. Combine all of the ingredients through and including the fine sea salt, except those reserved for garnish. Mix well.
  • Rub cut sides of garlic on toasts, then arrange toasts on serving plates and drizzle with oil. Top with lettuce leaves, melon salad, and reserved cilantro, scallion, and nuts; sprinkle with flaky sea salt and black pepper.