Savor Summer with Three Melon Recipes


Honeydew Gin & Tonic, Grilled Watermelon Salad, and Cantaloupe and Prosciutto Tartine.

Produced by Brett Levine
Food Styling by Lily Plauché
Photography by Becky Stayner

When people think of the wonderful fruits of summer—melons—they probably don’t think of gourds, the family from which this mouthwatering fruit is derived. But these three fantastic flavors: watermelons, cantaloupes, and honeydews, are all varieties of curcubits. The name comes from melopepons, a Greek work for several different types of gourds that bore delectable fruit. Now we call them by several names, but each means the same thing—delicious. These three recipes are beautiful approaches to using this summer delight. Whether it is watermelon grilled to perfection, cantaloupe paired with prosciutto in a tartine—making a flawless pairing of sweet and salty, or just the taste of honeydew flavoring a gin and tonic, each provides something to savor in just the right measure.

Honeydew Gin & Tonic

Makes: 4 drinks

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4 cups chopped ripe honeydew
¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
6 ounces gin
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
4 thyme sprigs
Additional chopped or balled ripe honeydew, for garnish
Tonic water

1. Combine honeydew, water, and sugar in a blender or food processor; blend until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on solids. Discard solids.

2. Combine 3 ounces honeydew liquid, 1 ½ ounces gin, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into an ice-filled glass; top with tonic water and garnish with additional honeydew and a thyme sprig.

Cantaloupe and Prosciutto Tartines

Makes: 6 tartines

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6 ounces goat cheese, softened
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 (½ -inch thick) slices sourdough bread
6 thin slices prosciutto
2 cups shaved or thinly sliced cantaloupe
2 tablespoons thinly sliced chiles
2 tablespoons honey
Fresh mint leave

1. Combine goat cheese, lemon rind, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

2. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Grill bread slices until nicely toasted, about 1-2 minutes per side. Top bread evenly with a spread of goat cheese. Top bread slices evenly with prosciutto, cantaloupe, and chiles. Drizzle with honey and top with mint leaves and additional salt, if desired.

Grilled Watermelon Salad

Serves: 4

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 5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
8 (1 inch thick) wedges watermelon
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or ¼ cup basil leaves

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, mustard, and honey. Stir in shallot and tomatoes.

2. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of watermelon with a little oil and grill 1-2 minutes on each side or until marks appear. Remove to a platter. Top with tomato mixture, feta, and basil. Serve warm or at room temperature

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