As summer melons go, cantaloupe tends to lose out to watermelon more often than not. While watermelons are associated with summer fun (seed spitting contest, anyone?) cantaloupe tends to remind us of our parent’s breakfast. Well, not anymore. Here at Plated, we love playing with all kinds of seasonal produce in both sweet and savory ways. The cantaloupe—juicy, floral, sweet, and a bit sturdier than other melons—is amazing in all kinds of applications, from cocktails to entrees and desserts. Enjoy ripe cantaloupe wedges as they are (with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, yum!) or try any of these speedy recipes.
Cantaloupe and Cucumber Salsa
Pineapple isn’t the only fruit worthy of a salsa. Cantaloupe complements the pungent bite of raw onion and refreshing crunch of cucumber in this version, an easy way to jazz up a grilled chicken breast or seared fish fillet. For a no-heat version, you can omit the Fresno chile and swap the cucumber for diced red bell pepper to get that colorful pop.
1 cup finely chopped fresh cantaloupe
1/2 cup finely chopped English cucumber
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded red Fresno Chile
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Spoon over grilled chicken breasts or seared salmon or tilapia fillets.
If you’ve never blended a cantaloupe before, you’re seriously missing out. It gets fantastically frothy and turns a gorgeous Creamsicle orange. Bubbly Prosecco makes this a super refreshing adult drink. You could also use seltzer for a non-alcoholic version. The bellinis also transform easily into dessert: Pour the blended cantaloupe over a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt or lemon sorbet, top with the bubbly of your choice, and enjoy!
5 cups diced cantaloupe
3 tablespoons torn mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2-3 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 bottle chilled Prosecco
Mint sprigs and lime slices, for garnish
1. Combine cantaloupe, mint, lime juice, and 2 teaspoons sugar in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add sugar as desired. Strain cantaloupe purée into a pitcher and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
2. Fill champagne flutes or wine glasses about halfway with cantaloupe puree. Slowly add Prosecco to each glass. Garnish with mint sprigs and lime slices.
Cantaloupe and Prosciutto Crostini
Cantaloupe and prosciutto are a classic pair, so we’re turning them into an easy appetizer. Mascarpone is a mild, wonderfully rich cheese that’s easy to spread (ricotta would also work). The basil and final drizzle of olive oil tie the whole bite together.
1 French bread baguette
1 cup mascarpone cheese
6 thin slices prosciutto
1 cup thinly sliced ripe cantaloupe
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
1/4 cup torn basil leaves
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Cut baguette crosswise on a diagonal into 1/4-inch slices. Brush both sides of bread slices with olive oil. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. Set aside at room temperature to cool slightly.
3. Spread 1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese onto each crostini. Top evenly with prosciutto, cantaloupe, and basil. Sprinkle with flaky salt and black pepper as desired.
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