A French poet once said, “there are three things which cannot support mediocrity – poetry, wine, and melons.” It’s true. Take a bite of an unripe, out of season melon and you might as well be eating chilled Styrofoam. There is no substitute for the juicy sweetness of a melon, of any variety, full of fragrance and flavor. Nutritionally, think generous amounts of Vitamin C and beta-carotene with the orange-fleshed varieties. Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine believe melon has a has a calming effect on the spirit and helps to ease frustration, restlessness and worry, not to mention the cooling effect it has on summer’s heat.
Aside for slicing a melon in half, scooping out the seeds, and diving in with a spoon sitting on your front or back porch, here are a few more thoughtful ways to serve melon, both savory and sweet.
1 ½ teaspoons lime or lemon zest
¼ cup fresh lime or lemon zest (about 3 limes or lemons)
freshly ground pepper
2 cups, seeded and finely chopped melon
1 cup of jicama, chopped into small cubes
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
½ small red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Stir together lime or lemon zest, lemon juice, and dash of pepper in a bowl. Add the melon, jicama, jalapeno, onion and cilantro and toss gently. Chill the salsa until ready to serve. Serve with chips or pita chips.
Chef's note: you can substitute the cilantro for mint if you are so inclined.
Other Melon Recipes
In addition to the melon salsa, check out and try these recipes below. Feel free to adapt and adjust to your liking.
Minted Melon Soup
1 cantaloupe, sliced and seeded
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 cups orange, mango or pineapple juice
1 to 2 tablespoons agave syrup
½ cup fresh mint leaves for garnish
Place cantaloupe and ½ cup citrus juice in a blender or food processor, cover and process until smooth. Transfer to large bowl and stir in lime juice and remaining citrus juice. Cover and chill for at least one hour. Garnish with mint, if desired.
Honeydew Melon Ball Salad
1 Pint Fresh Blackberries
2 Cups Watermelon Balls
2 Cups Honeydew Balls
1 Cup Green Grapes
¼ Cup Honey
Juice of Two Limes or Lemons
Mix it all together and serve.