Refresh Your Summer Taste Buds: 7 Melon Recipes
Sweeten up your summer by introducing melons to your dishes. Not can melons help quench your thirst, but finding recipes calling for this fresh ingredient will add more fruit to your diet. Cantaloupe for instance, is a good source of vitamins A and C, and potassium World’s Healthiest Foods states. Cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew are common varieties, but you might be able to find specialty melons at your grocery store or farmer’s market too. So freshen up your dinner and palate with any of these seven recipes.
1. Cantaloupe Bread
Give your quick bread a summer makeover with AllRecipes.com‘s cantaloupe bread. A praline glaze drizzled on top adds a touch of crunch and a dose of sweetness to the bread. It yields two loaves.
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups cantaloupe – peeled, seeded and pureed
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ cup butter
- 1⅔ cups brown sugar
- ½ cup chopped pecans
Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease and flour two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, vegetable, sugar, vanilla and cantaloupe. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger. Stir flour mixture into cantaloupe mixture; stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into center of a loaf comes out clean.
Meanwhile, combine butter and brown sugar. Microwave for 3 minutes, stirring at 1 minute intervals; mix in pecans. Pour sauce over warm bread. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.
2. Tomato and Melon Salad with Scallops and Pink Peppercorns
Follow Sunset‘s lead, and use fresh tomatoes and melons for bright, summery meal that serves six. You want dry pack scallops, Reluctant Gourmet explains, because they are packed without any additives and will shrink less when sautéing and searing than wet pack scallops.
- 1 pound seedless watermelon, rind trimmed
- 1 pound cantaloupe, seeded, rind trimmed
- 1 medium yellow vine-ripe tomato
- 1 medium red vine-ripe tomato
- 1 medium green vine-ripe tomato
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 or 2 serrano chiles, sliced paper-thin
- 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons finely shredded ginger
- 1½ teaspoons pink peppercorns, crushed, divided
- 12 dry-packed sea scallops
Directions: lice melons thinly and lay on a large shallow platter. Slice tomatoes crosswise and lay on platter with melons. Whisk together lemon and lime juices, chiles, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons oil, the ginger, and ¾ teaspoon peppercorns. Pour all but 2 tablespoons dressing over melon and tomatoes. Let marinate 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large (not nonstick) frying pan over high heat. Pat scallops dry and season with remaining salt and pink peppercorns. When pan is hot, pour in remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil; place scallops one at a time in pan, spacing evenly; and cook until golden brown and crusty, 2 minutes. Turn over and cook on other side, 1 minute. Add warm scallops to platter, drizzle with remaining dressing, and serve.
3. Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Avocado-Melon Salsa
Another take on the melon and seafood combination comes from Bon Appétit. The avocado and melon salsa will be the refreshing counter to your spicy Jamaican jerk seasoned fish; it yields four servings.
- 1 small avocado, diced
- 1 cup (⅓-inch cubes) cantaloupe
- ½ cup diced red onion
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ¾ teaspoon grated lime peel
- 4 (6-ounce) mahi-mahi fillets (each about 1 inch think)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons Jamaican jerk seasoning
Directions: Oil grill rack. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Toss first six ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Season salsa generously with salt and pepper.
Brush fish with 1 tablespoon oil. Spread seasoning in dish. Dredge fish in seasoning, turning to coat. Grill fish until just opaque in center, about 4 minutes per side. Serve with salsa.
4. Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
Your choices aren’t restricted to seafood when it comes to pairing protein and melon. Eating Well put a spice-rubbed pork alongside a watermelon and cucumber salad in this recipe that yields six servings. Look for chile-garlic sauce in the international aisle of your grocery store.
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons chile-garlic sauce
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1½ pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2½ teaspoons sugar
- 2 cups diced seeded watermelon
- 2 cups diced cucumber
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
Directions: To prepare pork: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil. Mix sugar, coriander, cumin, salt, chile sauce and 1 teaspoon oil in a small bowl to form a smooth paste. Rub the paste over the pork.
Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork; cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the baking sheet. Roast the pork until just cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should register 145 degrees Fahrenheit), 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare salad. Stir vinegar and sugar in a medium bowl until the sugar almost dissolves. Add watermelon, cucumber and cilantro; toss gently to combine. Just before serving, sprinkle with peanuts. Carve the pork into ½-inch-thick slices. Serve with the watermelon salad.
5. Summer Melon with Fig and Prosciutto
If you can find Sharlyn melons, you’ll never have to choose between honeydew and cantaloupe again. Produce Reference describes Sharlyns as tasting of the two fruits combined. That said, substituting when you can’t find it is easy, and all you’ll have to do for a version of Health‘s recipe is use extra honeydew and melon to make up for the missing melon.
- 1 Sharlyn melon, peeled, seeded, and cut into medium cubes (about 4 cups)
- 1 honeydew melon, peeled, seeded, and cut into medium cubes (about 4 cups)
- 1 cantaloupe, peeled, seeded, and cut into medium cubes (about 4 cups)
- 3 ounces prosciutto di Parma, julienned
- 1 bunch basil
- 8 fresh dark-skinned figs, trimmed and quartered
- ¼ pound arugula
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 (4-ounce) block ricotta salata, shaved, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper, for garnish
Directions: For each serving, place ½ cup of each melon in the center of the plate; place about ⅓ ounce prosciutto on top of the melon, followed by a few basil leaves, 4 fig quarters, and a few arugula leaves. Drizzle each serving with a little olive oil, and garnish with the shaved ricotta salata and a dash of crushed red pepper.
6. Watermelon Gazpacho
A chilled soup using seasonal watermelon is just what your summer dinner plans need, and Tyler Florence’s gazpacho from the Food Network is one worth checking out. It yields four servings and is a speedy choice for a side dish or appetizer.
- 1 large tomato, pureed
- ½ serrano chile
- 2 cups cubed fresh watermelon
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- ½ cucumber, seeded and minced
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, plus more for garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
Directions: In a blender, puree the tomatoes, chile, and ½ of the watermelon. Pour in the red wine vinegar and olive oil and pulse. Add the onion, cucumber and dill and season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Pour into chilled bowls and sprinkle with dill, feta, and remaining watermelon. Serve.
7. Grilled Honeydew
Grilled fruit is a wonderfully light dessert during the summer, and the grilled honeydew from Food & Wine is great example of that. The honeydew caramelizes on the grate and is then served with a zesty sugar made with limes.
- Finely grated zest of 3 limes
- ⅓ cup sugar
- One 4-pound honeydew melon, halved, seeded and cut into 2-inch wedges
- Lime wedges, for serving
Directions: Light a grill. In a small bowl, combine the lime zest with the sugar. Grill the melon wedges over high heat, turning once, until caramelized, about 1 minute. Transfer the melon to a baking sheet and sprinkle with some of the lime sugar. Refrigerate until chilled. Sprinkle the melon with more lime sugar and serve with lime wedges, passing any remaining sugar at the table.