Cantaloupe Salsa

September is one of my favorite months of the entire year.  As long as I can remember, I was one of of those kids who actually sort of looked forward to the first day of school.  In my years of working as a youth director, I thrived on the new energy that a new program year brought.  I married the love of my life in September.  The garden tomatoes reach their peak in September.  Somehow, it only seems right to kick off September with an entire week devoted to my favorite garden to kitchen creation: SALSA!

All this week I will be bringing you recipes for a variety of garden salsas, so stock up on chips and give your cilantro plant an extra shot of water, it's SALSA WEEK!
Speaking of my favorite things, all things Minnesota rank pretty high on the list as well, so when it came time to select a variety of cantaloupe to plant in my vertical garden, it was an easy choice to go with Minnesota Midget.  First of all, there was the name alone; how could I not go with the Minnesota variety?  Then, I found out that this heirloom variety was introduced in 1948 by the U of M at Farmer Seed and Nursery in Faribault, MN, where my family has purchased seeds for years (they still sell the seeds today - my packet came at the bargain price of $1.00).   And then, I had my first taste of these sweet little melons and I knew that I had found a new favorite that will be a part of my garden for years to come.
As sweet and perfect as Minnesota Midget is on its own, when you're faced with just over thirty pounds of melon, you have the perfect opportunity to get creative and try something new and unique.  So in honor of the last day of The Great Minnesota Get-Together (our favorite end-of-summer Minnesota tradition, where we'll be spending part of our day sampling a few other fun and unique foods), here's a salsa that's unique, Minnesotan, and could possibly be your new favorite fruit salsa.

Cantaloupe Salsa
2 cups cantaloupe, finely diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Fresh cilantro, minced
Lime juice

Combine cantaloupe, onion, and jalapeno in a bowl with salt and chili powder.  Squeeze a little lime juice (a few tablespoons) over the ingredients, add cilantro to taste, toss, and serve.

Recipe adapted from Local Kitchen (another favorite!)

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