Making Melon Shine
Is there any taste more incredible than in-season melon? This season is all about the classics: cantaloupe and honeydew. Honeydew is sweeter than cantaloupe, but cantaloupe has a more distinct flavor. Honeydew has moist, sweet and light green or white flesh that melts in the mouth. Unlike honeydew, cantaloupe has less juicy, usually salmon-colored or orange flesh.
Sweet, succulent, and bursting with flavor, these picks are most beautiful when kept raw, or even roasted gently to concentrate its flavor. Pork products of all kinds are classic pairings for both of these melons. The sweet saltiness is the perfect foil for the sweet, floral crush. Both melons are hearty enough to withstand cooking applications as well!
Roasted cantaloupe with a touch of balsamic vinegar reduction is an unexpected side dish, as is seared honeydew slices with miso and crushed pistachios. Cantaloupe and honeydew granita or sorbet are lovely desserts and palate cleansers. Both melons also pair extremely well with seafood. Try crab and cantaloupe tacos, or barbecued shrimp skewers with cantaloupe salsa fresca.
Both cantaloupe and honeydew are at their prime when totally ripe, but under-ripe fruit also has tons of potential. Try using under-ripe honeydew in place of green papaya in a classic sweet, spicy, and sour Thai salad. Or use firm cantaloupe in place of tomatoes for traditional Jerusalem salad.
About the Chef
Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.