A couple notes on picking a melons: For honeydew and cantaloupe, I smell them - if it smells faintly like the fruit, it's probably good, if it smells really strong, it's probably past. For watermelon, I really do smack the melon and I can tell by the way it feels if it's likely a good one. I want to feel the juice "ripple" inside.
Now on to the recipes for today. I really liked this first one, it seemed like an unusual combination (I adapted the recipe from one I found) but the juicy melon with the classic tomato and basil combination was fabulous. It was a sophisticated and unexpected salad.
WATERMELON, TOMATO, & BASIL SALAD
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1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. sugar (next time I would try honey)
1/2 watermelon cut into chunks,
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tb. fresh basil, chopped
2 Tb. Olive oil
Combine the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Combine watermelon, tomatoes, & basil in a large bowl. Pour cooled vinegar mixture and olive oil over the fruit. Gently stir to combine. Can season with salt if desired. Chill until serving.
My sister recommended this recipe and I couldn't resist trying another fruit soup. It's so refreshing and quite good. It would be lovely as a light dessert.
CHILLED CANTALOUPE SOUP
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1 cantaloupe - peeled, seeded and cubed
2 c. orange juice
1 Tb. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Peel, seed, and cube the cantaloupe. Place cantaloupe and 1/2 cup orange juice in a blender or food processor; cover, and process until smooth. Transfer to large bowl. Stir in lime juice, cinnamon, and remaining orange juice. Cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour. Garnish with mint if desired.