Make this recipe for Marinated Cucumber and Melon salad with peanuts, chili, and mint a Summer staple in your household. Captured by the food & lifestyle photographer and cook, Allegra D’Agostini, who grew up on a tree farm in Ontario, Canada. Allegra seeks to connect us to the natural world and to one another through her food and photography. You can find out more about her inspirations in our recent interview below and indulge in more via her delicious Substack, Food, etc.


How does your childhood inspire what you do?

I've been cooking from a very young age. When I was quite young, my mom went back to school and I remember having to take more responsibility over school lunches. At this time, my siblings and I also began spending afternoons with my grandmother who was always in the kitchen cooking something. She loved taking care of us and would make a special meal each day after school. Her interest in cooking was contagious and gradually my sister and I began spending time by her side in the kitchen, asking questions and absorbing what we could from her. She cooked instinctively: I remember wondering how she knew how much flour to add if the cookie dough was too wet, or how much milk if it was too dry. I suppose she really was my model in the kitchen. I grew up on a tree farm, surrounded by nature. This exposure to the natural world was also very influential for me and shaped how I think about sustainability and seasonality with respect to ingredients and cooking. Finally, my mother is an artist and was always very encouraging of my creative impulses and experimenting with different mediums. She enrolled us in art camps each summer where they taught printmaking, painting, drawing, papier mâché, and more. Although throughout high school and university, while focusing on science courses, I mostly forgot (or rejected) this creative aspect of my personality, I have since rediscovered it in a large way and channeled it into my career with food and photography.

What do you love most about Falcon in and around your kitchen?

I love the clean lines and lovely colours of Falcon products. They look amazing on a table, shelf, and as display pieces - for instance, I love filling the water jug with a bouquet of flowers.

How important is travel to your cooking?

Travel is a large source of inspiration for me and my cooking. I believe that exposure to diverse cultures, ways of life, and cuisines broadens our horizons and makes us more empathetic people, which translates into better cooking.

Do you have a particular ingredient you enjoy incorporating in the Summer?

Throughout the summer, when fresh produce is at its peak, I make use of as much of it as possible. Good tomatoes are perhaps my favourite, as there is truly no comparison between a tomato bought in the dead of winter and one ripened on the vine and full of juicy, sweet sugars from the sun.

Are there any local companies you'd like to shoutabout? Where do you usually eat, drink, and source ingredients in your local area?

I live in Hackney, surrounded by incredible bakeries, cafes, and restaurants. I could go on about the food in London but my favourite places to stop by lately are Chats Organic for ingredients, E5 Bakehouse or Pophams for incredible pastries and sourdough, and Western’s Laundry for a nice dinner.


Marinated cucumber and melon salad with peanuts, chili, and mint


  • 2 tbsp light olive oil, avocado oil, or grapeseed oil
  • 2 tsp runny honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp rice wine or white wine vinegar
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 canary melon, tough peel and seeds removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 chili, thinly sliced with seeds
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, roughly torn
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped


Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, honey, sesame oil, vinegar, minced garlic, and salt.

Add the chopped cucumber, melon, and sliced chili to a large bowl and pour half of the dressing overtop, then toss to coat and leave to marinate for at least an hour or up to 4 hours.

When ready to serve, drain any excess watery liquid that has accumulated in the bowl, then pour the second half of the dressing overtop. Toss to coat in the dressing, then transfer everything to a serving platter. Serve garnished with the mint leaves and chopped peanuts.



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