It has been pretty hot around here which means I have absolutely no interest in cooking – or do I? There are so many things that can be made without heat! The best part of this type of cooking is that not only does it free you from standing over a hot stove or grill, but it also provides you with scrumptious, refreshing food to cool you down. One of my favorite things to make on a hot day is a melon salad. I’m sure you’re thinking that I am crazy that you can’t make a melon salad – all you are doing is cutting melons and dumping them into a bowl, but I swear to you, I am making melon-magic when I make this recipe.
I first start by slicing open a large, ripe, melons of the watermelon, honey dew and cantaloupe varieties. I cube the fruit up and remove as many seeds from the watermelon as I can, but let’s face it, half the fun of eating this fruit is spitting out the seeds, right? You can use a melon baller if you want to be fancy, but why bother - a melon-baller is a uni-tasker (an Alton Brown term for a tool that really only does one thing) – you have knives in your kitchen (at least I hope you do) – they are multi-taskers and do the job just as well.
Back to the melon – I leave the cubes in a bowl in the fridge so that they stay nice and cold. In a smaller bowl, I mix together a splash of simple syrup, a dash of fresh minced mint, a squirt of lemon juice, another of lime juice, a drop of balsamic vinegar, and – if only adults are enjoying the melon – a splash or two of either a sweet white wine (Moscado works best) or rum. I dress my melon mixture with this concoction and let this all chill for at least two hours. The melon will begin to break down a little, but, no worries, it will still have some texture to it. The best part is that it is a cold dish being served on a hot day.
Some additions I have made to this are grapes – any kind will work, but since the salad is beautiful, I try to pick grapes that complement the existing colors – we do, after all, eat with our eyes first. Another addition is fresh, wild Maine blueberries – but they have to be in season or it just doesn’t do the salad justice. In addition to the blueberries, add some supremes of orange – but make sure the orange you pick is nice and juicy, otherwise you run the risk of them being left behind on the plate. (A supreme of orange is a section of orange that is taken from a peeled orange and cut to remove the membrane).
Either way you mix this salad, on a hot day, it is sure to cool you down. I have even taken the leftovers (though few) and juiced them so that I could drink the goodness that is a melon salad. With this, Windham and Raymond, I bid you happy mid-summer wishes and hopes that you are staying cool!
1 Watermelon, cubed
1 Cantaloupe, cubed
1 Honey Dew Melon, cubed
½ TBSP Fresh Mint, minced
1 TBSP Lemon Juice
1 TBSP Lime Juice
½ TBSP Sweet White Wine