Use your melon

 cantaloupe gazpacho

Here's a scenario that most food lovers can probably identify with: It's the peak of summer produce season, and the quality of the fruit - plus fantastic prices - leads you to fill your cart to the brim with one (or more) of everything you see. Deciding what to make with this bounty can be a daunting task. While enjoying a perfectly ripe fruit on its own can be sublime, sometimes you just want to make something a bit more sophisticated.

This scenario just happened to me, and I came home with a bumper crop of fruit, including a large, fragrant melon. Colorful melons in various sizes are stacked in huge piles all around the produce section, carrying enticing names like Kandy, Lemon Drop, and Dewlicious. The number of melon varieties is staggering: there are three main types - cantaloupes, muskmelons, (learn the differences betwen the two here), and honeydew melons - each boasting several sub-varieties with unique flavor characteristics. 

Just as I was sitting down to search for recipes, a link from indexed blog Serious Eats showed up in my Twitter feed. The timing was perfect, as they were featuring 11 things you can make with melons besides fruit salad. I chose to make the cantaloupe gazpacho with crispy prosciutto pictured above. Crisp, refreshing, and suprisingly savoury, the soup was a hit for the midday meal. There is still half a melon left, so I will turn to the EYB Library for more guidance. With so many terrific recipes, it will be difficult to whittle down that list. Here are a few Member favorites I found intriguing:

Cantaloupe jam with vanilla from Food in Jars
Honeydew, cucumber and elderflower sorbet from Delicious Everyday 
Shaved honeydew-and-cucumber salad from Cooking Light Magazine
Melon and gin granita with fennel biscuits from Delicious Magazine (UK)
Savory shaved cantaloupe salad from Bon Appetit Magazine

The breadth of recipes that you can find in the Library - either in your own cookbooks or online - never ceases to amaze me. Before I go shopping next week, I think I'll sit down and find a few recipes that I want to try before I fill my cart so I can make more informed decisions, although I foresee another melon in my future.

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