In Season: Melons

We’re continuing to explore the foods of the season. Next we’ll take a look at melons and the many ways you can enjoy them this summer.

Start Your Meal Off Right

Create an amuse bouche as a 1-bite appetizer to clean the palate.

Easy and Elegant Watermelon Appetizer

Source: Showfood Chef

Watermelon Cubes with Balsamic Vinegar

Seedless Watermelon cut into 1x1 inch cubes
1/4 cup (more or less) Balsamic Creme or home-made Balsamic Reduction Syrup
Mint or Basil leaves for garnish.

  1. After trimming and cutting watermelon into 1x1 inch cubes, use a small melon baller to carve out the center of each cube. Make sure to leave the sides and bottoms in tact to hold the syrup inside.
  2. Turn the cubes over on a paper towel to drain for at least 20 minutes. At this point you can also wrap lightly with plastic wrap and hold in the refrigerator til needed for several hours.
  3. When ready to serve, add just a few drops of Balsamic Reduction Syrup or Balsamic Creme to the center and place each cube on top of a mint or basil leaf.

Watermelon and Blueberries with Basil Chiffonade and Rosemary Balsamic

Source: Sean Everett, The Vegan Epicure

Emeril's Rosemary Balsamic Reduction, adapted

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 large or 2 small rosemary sprigs

  1. Set a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the shallots to the pan and sweat until translucent, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the garlic to the pan and sweat for 30 seconds.
  4. Pour the balsamic vinegar into the pan and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the rosemary and allow the balsamic to gently boil and reduce until only about 1/4 cup of balsamic remains, about 10 minutes.
  6. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
  7. Remove from the heat and remove the rosemary sprigs before using.

Dip Them

You can cut them into sticks or use a melon baller and put them on a toothpick and dip them into something delicious, like these dips.

Sweet Yogurt Dip

Source: Epicurious, adapted

2 cups vanilla soy yogurt
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. Combine yogurt, agave nectar and cinnamon in small bowl; stir to blend.
  2. Place bowl on platter.

Our Note: Add the juice and zest of 1 lime to give this dip a little zing

Fruit Dip VI

Source: All Recipes, adapted

2 (8 ounce) packages tofutti cream cheese, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. In a medium bowl, blend the cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla extract.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator 1 hour before serving.

Vegan Nutella

Source: About.com

1 1/2 cups hazelnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
3-4 tablespoon vegetable or safflower oil
2 tablespoon soy milk

  1. Using a food processor, grind the hazelnuts until fine and powdery. Process for another minute or two. If your food processor is strong enough, the hazelnuts will eventually turn creamy and smooth. If you're using a less powerful food processor, this won't happen.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth and creamy, adding a little bit more or less liquid to get desired consistency.

Banana Dressing

Source: All Recipes, adapted

1 medium ripe banana, cut into chunks
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Place the dressing ingredients in a blender; cover and process until smooth

Douse Them

You could also combine melon with other fruit to make a fruit salad. Soak the fruit in any of these combinations and you won’t be able to get enough.

Fruit Salad

Source: Cuisine Tonight, June 2012

4 cups of fruit

Sauce

1 cup sugar
¾ cup water
¼ cup mint, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped ginger
Zest and juice of 1 lime

  1. Simmer the sauce ingredients over medium heat until the mixture is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
  2. Strain the mixture over the fruit
  3. Chill for 30 minutes

Triple Melon Fruit Salad

Source: Chow

3 pounds seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 5 to 6 cups)
2 pounds cantaloupe, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 to 4 cups)
2 pounds honeydew melon, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 to 4 cups)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, plus more as needed
Pinch kosher salt

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and gently mix to combine.
  2. Taste and add more lime juice or sugar as needed.
  3. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours before serving.

Margarita Melon Salad

Source: Rachael Ray

2 limes, juiced 2 shots tequila 2 tablespoons orange liqueur 3 teaspoons sugar 1/2 cantaloupe, seeded and cubed 1/4 honey dew melon, seeded and cubed 1/4 small watermelon, cubed

  1. Combine lime juice, tequila, liqueur, and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Add melons and toss to coat with tequila and lime.
  3. Serve in shallow bowls.

Citrus-Mint Melon Salad

Source: Eliza Domestica

2 cups of honeydew melon, balled or cubed
2 teaspoons of agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon mandarin orange zest (or any citrus fruit if you like)
4 mint leaves, minced

  1. Mulch your minced mint leaves, mandarin orange zest and agave nectar together (I just used the back of a metal spoon to achieve this, and only a few mulches will do the trick)
  2. Drizzle over melon balls and toss together
  3. Serve chilled