Simple, Healthy, Delicious: Heirloom Melons
We’re edging down the far peak of melon season so for the rest of this month we’ll be spoiled for choice of some unbelievably sweet, juicy, and refreshing fruit. They are so versatile they can play a role in any part of the meal from breakfast, to salad, soup, dinner and dessert. Melons are the perfect antidote for high temperatures, as they keep the body hydrated, and these low glycemic melon recipes are a great way to remain cool as they require almost no work at all. They are easy, fast, and don’t require any time by the stove.
Sweet Melon Soup
This soup is served chilled. It is easy to throw together and makes for a light elegant appetizer. You can also serve it with a prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich for lunch. Adapted from Real Simple Magazine.
- 1 Cantaloupe-like melon (such as a Tuscan or a Crane melon)
- 1 Sharlyn melon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- Small pinch salt
- A few sprigs fresh mint leaves
Halve and seed the melons. Scoop out the flesh and puree it in a blender with the salt and ginger. Puree until smooth. Top with fresh mint leaves.
Melon with Port
Another classical combination dating as far back as the Renaissance. This can be served either as an appetizer or as dessert.
- Charentais or other orange flesh melon, halved and seeded
Fill the seed cavity with port, let macerate for 20 minutes or more. Scoop right from the melon to eat or reserve the port, halve or quarter the melon half and plate. Then drizzle a bit of the reserved port on each slice and serve.
Melon Crunch Parfait
A healthy breakfast that can be thrown together for a fast meal or served in parfait glasses for brunch. I like to combine thick and creamy Greek yogurt and top it with cubes of both green and orange melons and a colorful assortment of berries. Lime juice over any melon is also wonderful and brings out a nice blend of flavors.
- 1 or 2 varieties of melon, seeded and cut into cubes
- Assorted berries
- 1 lime
- Greek yogurt
- A few mint leaves, sliced thin – optional
Zest the lime and combine zest with the melon, berries and mint leaves. Squeeze juice from half the lime over fruit and toss again. Stir some honey into the yogurt and layer the yogurt in bottom of bowl. Top with the fruit and scatter with granola.
Arugula Salad with Roasted Almonds & Sweet Heirloom Melon
Because the melons provide so much juice you hardly need any olive oil for this colorful and nutritious salad. Use plenty of sea salt and dark roast the almonds for maximum flavor. Sea salt has many health benefits, from regulating blood pressure to helping build the immune system.
We didn’t list measurements – we’ll leave this part up to you so you can make this an entrée or a side, depending on your appetite. Serve it alongside rotisserie or grilled chicken or fish, or for a heartier salad, dice up the chicken and toss it in with the mix!
- Slivered almonds
- Baby arugula
- An heirloom melon
- Coarse sea salt
- Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Directions: Toast the nuts in a 400º oven until dark brown. Remove and let cool. Seed the melon and then slice and dice the cantaloupe into bite size cubes (or scoop the flesh into round balls with a melon baller). Toss the arugula with the melon, nuts, salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Serving suggestions noted above.
Balsamic-drizzled Heirloom Melon
Serve this up any way you like…sliced, cubed or even scooped into melon balls. If you want to get the kids involved, ask them to scoop out the seeds.
- 1 Crane melon or other orange fleshed melon
- ½ c. mint leaves, slivered
- 1 ½ TBL Balsamic (e.g. Sigona’s Vanilla Bean Balsamic)
Halve melon, remove seeds. Slice, dice or scoop into pieces as desired and place in 4+ bowls. Sprinkle each dish with mint. Stir to mix. Drizzle 1-2 tsp. balsamic on top.