Specialty melons bring variety show to summer menu

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

Use moderate amounts of spices such as curry and fresh herbs like chervil, tarragon, mint and chives in a melon salad dressing. “Melons don’t need much enhancement,” Gulliksen says. “I would go very sparingly with any kind of garlic.”

Cold Soups

Melon soups are refreshing and easy to make, Gulliksen says. First puree melon and add apple juice or orange juice to thin it, then blend in a processor. Add yogurt to thicken the soup, if necessary, although experiment first because discoloration may occur. For extra flavor, consider adding semisweet champagne or wasabi cream. “Even though I was hesitant about it at first, the wasabi cream gives it a tiny little spice kick that’s very good,” she says.

For a more colorful dish, create a masterpiece by spinning orange and green melon soups together.

Relishes

Top your favorite meats with melon relishes. Gulliksen first cubes the melon, then adds splashes of Japanese rice wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Then she adds chopped cilantro, chives and dill, drizzles the mixture with lime juice and stirs to blend the flavors.

For a twist on crab cakes, finely dice the melons and add the mixture to miniature crab cakes, she suggests.

Salsas

Any melon makes a delicious salsa. For example, cut a sprite melon into half-inch cubes. Combine in a bowl with chopped red, yellow and orange bell peppers, red onion, cilantro and lime juice. Chill for several hours and serve as a side dish with grilled chicken breasts, according to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Kinston, Web site (www.ncagr.com).

Mousse

A light, airy melon dessert is minutes away. Fold nondairy whipped topping into mashed melon seasoned with a dash of salt. Garnish with mint leaves and other fruit, including pieces of the featured melon.

Sorbet

Melons make great sorbets, Melissa’s Faulkner says. After discarding the rind and seeds, puree the melon. Make a simple syrup with equal parts water and sugar. Bring the syrup to a boil, cool and add water again. Add to food processor and spin to a creamy consistency. After freezing, accent a scoop of the sorbet with berries and garnish with mint leaves.


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