Specialty melons bring variety show to summer menu

07/21/2003 12:00:00 AM
Marilyn Yung

Galia melons look like a cantaloupe on the outside and a honeydew on the inside and are available June through September. The flavor blends the tastes of those two fruits. Also called the dessert melon, galia melons are extremely juicy and sweet.
Try Faulkner’s recipe for galia melon in coconut milk. To prepare a dish for eight, stir together one 14-ounce can of unsweetened coconut milk, 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1½ tablespoons of lime juice in a metal bowl until the sugar dissolves. Chill. Scoop melon into balls, divide into eight dishes and pour coconut milk over the top.

Casaba melons have wrinkled golden yellow skin with a green hue and a slight point at the stem end. Their light green flesh is juicy and lightly sweet.
They first were introduced to the United States in the late 19th century from Kasaba, Turkey, and are available June through September.
For an easy, light dessert, combine 1/3 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of minced fresh mint and 3 tablespoons of sugar in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to simmer and remove from heat. Cover and let stand at room temperature two hours or overnight. Strain syrup, stir in 1/3 cup of port wine and 2 tablespoons of the mint. Arrange melon slices on a platter and pour port syrup over it. Cover and chill two hours and garnish with mint sprigs.

BEYOND FRUIT SALAD

Although they are beautiful and delicious served alone or with others in a standard fruit salad, melons of all types offer many uses and applications. Experiment with flavors, herbs, spices and textures to create new dishes and accompaniments.

Dressings

Try melons in salad dressings. Pro*Act’s Gulliksen prefers simple ways to incorporate melons to top salads. For example, take your favorite vinegar and oil recipe and simply add melon puree to it. For a flavor twist, substitute orange juice for the vinegar. “It will give it a subtle, sweeter taste and people will wonder what makes it taste so good,” she says.



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