Marvelous Melon!

Is there anything that says “summertime” more than watermelon juice dripping down your chin?  I think not!  Melon is one of those perfect foods woven of God’s loom.   It’s juicy perfection on it’s own, so I rarely doctor it up-other than to add a sprinkle of table salt.  I know-weird.  Try it sometime though, it’s really good.  The salt just brings out the beautiful melon flavor.

I entered a couple of recipe contests this summer that called for melon as the main ingredient so I had to come up with a way to enhance the fruit.  I found this a particular challenge, but I must have figured it out because I won one of the contests!  It’s always such a thrill to find that others love something you’ve created…it’s why I do what I do.  I love to feed people-their stomachs with appetizing delights, and their eyes with feasts of gorgeous photographs.

The first melon recipe is was one of the monthly winners of Phyllo.com’s Mini Fillo Shells Fancy and Fun Contest.  It is called Spiced Melon Salad Cups.

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The prize was $50 for this contest, so it doesn’t pay for early retirement or a tummy tuck, but heck, I am not complaining.   I got paid for doing something I love and that’s called livin’ the dream.

This can be served as a dessert or appetizer.  It is made to have an Indian flare.  It’s basically 4 kinds of melon (yellow and regular fleshed watermelon, cantaloupe, and honey dew), a chopped cucumber half, coconut milk infused with an anise pod and honey, and some fresh mint.  You just heat the milk on low on the stove, drop in the anise pod and let it infuse for a few minutes.  If you haven’t tried anise, it has a pungent licorice flavor.  I like to use it in desserts and cocktails.  Once the anise has infused the milk, stir in the honey to sweeten it.  Cool the mixture and mix it into the fruit.  Add the chopped mint and spoon the mixture into the Fillo Cups.  It’s crunchy, sweet, and full of melony goodness.  You can view the recipe here & it’s below in the handy printable.

The second recipe is a play on traditional ceviche.  Ceviche is just fresh fish marinated in a base of citrus juices.  It’s often served with fresh tomatoes and other fruit.  This is Cool Melon Ceviche and it’s just a play on the real thing-no fish here.  Not that there’s anything wrong with fish.  I’d love to sink my spoon into a fresh dish of ceviche from a California food truck right this minute, but that’s meant for another day.  I digress-as I do so often-ahem!

I entered the Cool Melon Ceviche into MagnaCare’s Healthy Food contest.  The prize is a Nutribullet blender.  I’m still waitin’ on the word from them.  The contest called for a recipe full of fruits or veggies.  I thought this one really fit the bill, and it was so tasty.  I used the same diced melon and cucumber mixture as in the recipe above.  I then made a dressing from  a couple of Tbs of fresh lime juice and a Tbs of raw citrus honey.  I poured that over the fruit and added the zest of two limes and a good handful of crunchy black poppy seeds.  This dish would serve as an impressive stand-in for the BORING old fruit salad you see at every summer barbeque.  May you never eat fruit cocktail mixed with Cool Whip again in this lifetime-life is too damn short, people!

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This last melon marvel is not really a recipe…I didn’t do anything with the melon itself…I left her in all her beautiful, untouched glory, but I dressed her up a bit.  This is just a fun way to serve watermelon that doesn’t involve the cheesy basket cut from the melon rind.  This is the same idea, but with a very modern twist.

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I just cubed the melon and used a thick slice of rind to hold it in place.  I added a big, fresh sprig of basil to the top for eye candy.  Mint would work just fine too.  As you can see in my pic, the melon does drip a little because there’s nothing to catch the juice.  Just sop it up with a paper towel and you’ll be good to go.

Don’t let summer pass you by without experimenting with the bounty only the season can bring.  Grab it by the rind and taste it!

Spiced Melon Salad Cups

Serving Size: 4 servings- 3 cups each

Ingredients

  • 12 mini Fillo cups (freezer section)
  • 1 cup finely diced melon of any variety you like
  • 1/2 peeled and diced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs chopped fresh mint

Instructions

  1. Mix the melon and cucumber.
  2. Heat the coconut milk over low and drop in the anise pod. Let the pod fuse into the milk for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and discard the pod.
  3. Add the honey to the milk and stir it in.
  4. Cool the milk in the fridge to to room temp.
  5. Add the milk mixture to the fruit. Stir gently.
  6. Add the mint and spoon the mixture into the Fillo Cups.
  7. Serve promptly.
http://haveyourselfatime.com/marvelous-melon/

 

 

Shauna

Comments

  1. A winner again. Gorgeous picture.

  2. I can’t wait to try these!

    • Let me know what you think-the ceviche really turned out so tasty. It’s kind of that flavor we had on the strawberry salad at our concert picnic-which I will post soon :)

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