Mother Nature provides us with such taste delights that with just a little imagination and skill, you have delectable, creative, and extremely tasty dishes for family and friends. The smooth velvety texture of cantaloupe is one of those very versatile fruits that gives us color appeal as well as a sweet, divinely appealing taste.
Most people use cantaloupe in fruit salads to add color to other fruits. But cantaloupe can stand on its own and very well, indeed. Try some of these the next time you’re in the mood for a special fruity dish with endless variations and good taste as well.
Cantaloupe Butter Recipe
1 cup chopped cantaloupe with the rind removed 1 tsp. water 1/2 cup butter, room temperature 2 tbs. lime juice 1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
In a small pan, simmer the fruit with 1 tsp. water until very tender. Cool to room temperature. Place all ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth.
Use with grilled chicken or fish Also create tropical pancakes with this fruity butter
Cantaloupe Sherbet Recipe
1 very ripe cantaloupe 1 quart milk 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin 3/4 cup light corn syrup 1/2 cup sugar 3/4 tsp. salt 3 drops yellow food color 1 drop red food color
Cut cantaloupe in half; discard seeds and peel.
Cut cantaloupe into bite-size pieces.
In a blender, blend cantaloupe and 1 cup milk at medium speed until smooth; set aside.
In 3-quart pan, sprinkle gelatin over 1 cup milk.
Cook, stirring constantly, over medium- low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved.
Remove from heat, stir in cantaloupe mixture, all the remaining milk, and all the remaining ingredients.
The mixture will look curdled. Pour mixture into a 13x9" baking pan.
Cover and freeze until partially frozen, about 3 hrs., stirring mixture occasionally.
Spoon cantaloupe mixture into a chilled mixer bowl.
With mixer at medium speed, beat until smooth but still frozen; return to pan.
Cover; freeze until firm, preferably overnight.
To serve: Let sherbet stand at room temperature for 10 mins. for easier scooping.
Have Fun with Plating with Cantaloupe
Remove rind from cantaloupe. Slice into rings. Place on glass plate and place a scoop of lime or pineapple sherbet in the center. Place a few mint leaves around the ring - Refreshing as a summer rainfall! - but much tastier.
Or remove rind from cantaloupe. Slice in rings, then slice in half. Place on lettuce-lined salad plates and drizzle with French dressing and crumbled Camembert cheese.
Cut a cantaloupe lengthwise into six sections with knife. Remove the seeds. Loosen the melon and cut it into small sections, but do not remove. Fill with fresh cut watermelon, ruby red strawberries, just-picked raspberries, tropical pineapple and a few kiwi slices. Place in center of plate and surround with finger or tea sandwiches.
or cut a cantaloupe in 6 lengthwise sections. Remove the seeds. Remove the fruit with a small knife. Soak the fruit in a light fruity wine for about an hour. Replace the fruit and accent with mint leaves. Serve as a salad on watercress-lined small plates.
Peel the cantaloupe, cut in half and remove the seeds. Slice into strips. Toss with prosciutto and serve as a meat accompaniment.
Or just serve plain. It is sweet, juicy and smooth.
Use cantaloupe to decorate your food, as a part of a meal, and even as dessert with ice cream or sherbet. Take advantage of this beautiful fruit. Cantaloupe can be used as part of a picnic lunch or as an elegant entree at a "fancy" affair. However, you serve it - ENJOY!
©Arleen M. Kaptur 2002
Arleen Kaptur has written numerous articles, cookbooks, and the novel: SEARCHING FOR AUSTIN JAMES