Cantaloupe at their best is by far one of my favorite summertime treats! But how does one choose a good cantaloupe? After reading the July article from Real Simple magazine (where I found the recipes below) I learned that the peel under the bumpy webbing should be golden and the melon should feel noticeable heavy for its size. These tips along with a floral smell are two additional indications that should help you pick cantaloupe that no one will push aside in a fruit salad. A perfectly picked cantaloupe pairs well with salty meats and cheeses. Last summer in Italy, a pairing of cantaloupe and prosciutto ham was my favorite dessert. In my book, nothing quite beats a salty sweet contrast. These recipes are a great example. Hope you enjoy!
Pasta Salad with Cantaloupe, Feta, and Dill
Combine 4 cups cubed cantaloupe, ¼ cup chopped fresh dill, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, salt, and pepper. Meanwhile, cook ½ pound orecchiette pasta according to directions. Rinse under cold water until cool and drain well. Toss with the cantaloupe. Top with 1/3 cup of crumbled Feta cheese just before serving.
Vietnamese Pork Chops with Cantaloupe and Basil Salad
Combine 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar and soy sauce with 2 teaspoons of fish sauce and brown sugar. Add 4 bone-in pork chips. Let marinade for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Toss 4 cups chopped cantaloupe, ½ cucumber, 1 cup basil, 2 tablespoons or fresh lime juice, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Serve with the chops.