What do you leave behind when you eat a fruit cup? If you answered melons, you’re just like the rest of us. Cantaloupe and honeydew never seem to shine, not when up against other summer fruits, such as cherries, blueberries and strawberries. Watermelon gets far more love, but we wanted to find ways to make the rest of the melon family shine too, so we scoured our archives for creative ways that treat the humble melon as more than mere filler.
Coconut Melon Soup, above. Summer is HOT, which means if you have a wild soup craving, you want to think cold. Enter this coconut melon soup, a sweet, fruity concoction that leans tropical to remind you of the beach, even if you can’t be there yourself. A hint of mint helps cool you down. You can pick cantaloupe or honeydew for this one.
Cantaloupe Salad With Arugula and Crispy Prosciutto. Cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto is a classic appetizer, for good reason. You could make it a full meal by eating the whole cantaloupe, or you can round it out into a salad with peppery arugula and a white balsamic dressing to add some tang to the melon’s sweetness. We wouldn’t say no to the addition of a bit of salty cheese.
Prosecco-Spiked Melon With Basil. One surefire way to make fruit fun is to make it boozy. Let honeydew marinate in prosecco to get the fruit’s mild flavor to pop. A basil garnish adds not only a pretty finish, but an herbaceous touch.
Cantaloupe-Cardamom Juice. This juice has two ingredients, and they’re both in the name. Floral cardamom meets sweet cantaloupe juice to make a summer sipper unlike any other.
Two-Melon Shake. The ultimate crowd favorite — watermelon — blends with a melon you might not have heard of. Bitter melon, a bumpy green fruit used in savory Asian cooking, gets a cool makeover in this light orangey-pink, frothy smoothie. Sweet and bitter blend together better than that TV show.
Melon Salad With Chiles and Mint. This is what a fruit salad is supposed to be, not sad chunks of cantaloupe at the bottom of a cup. Feel free to mix and match melons before tossing them with spicy chile, tart lime juice and cooling mint.
Tuna Tacos With Lime Aioli and Honeydew-Jicama Slaw. Next time you make tacos, turn to the slaw that accompanies these tuna tacos. Bright and refreshing, it would be great on top of something really spicy, acting as a mid-bite palate cleanser.
Tandoori Beef With Honeydew Tzatziki. Like the slaw above, honeydew tzatziki — using melon combined with the more traditional cucumber — adds a cooling element to a spicy dish.
Melon and Cucumber Salad. A hint of Sriracha spice and cucumber crunch compliment cantaloupe’s creamy sweetness. Toasted sesame seeds add extra texture and nuttiness, resulting in a harmony of flavors.
Summer Watermelon Punch. Watermelon and gin are a match made in heaven. Scoop out a watermelon to use as a punch bowl, but use a melon baller so you can freeze watermelon spheres and throw them back in instead of ice. Once those defrost, consume as a spiked snack.
Pickling for Melons. Again, spare us the fruit cup! Put melons in a jar instead! Pickling offsets their often-one-note sweetness with some acidity and slight funk. And if you’re pickling a watermelon, don’t throw away the rind because . . .
Pickled Watermelon Rind. . . . you can pickle that too! Cut into 2-inch squares, or smaller, and use as a condiment on grilled meats.
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