The Wonderful World of Melons


Man there are a lot of melons out there! One variety, the Canary melon is described by “The Cook’s Thesaurus” as:

Canary melon = Juan Canary melon Notes: These tend to vary in quality, so unless you’re good at selecting melons, stick with more idiot-proof varieties like the honeydew or cantaloupe. Canaries should, at a minimum, have bright yellow rinds. They’re in season in the fall. Substitutes: honeydew OR cantaloupe

Well – the Canary melon is in season now and I found it at the Bloomfield Farmer’s Market. They told me it would ripen in a day or so out on the counter and sure enough a couple of days later the skin was a shocking “crayola” yellow and fantastically fragrant.
I ate half for breakfast this morning and it tasted like a cross between honeydew and cantaloupe but much juicier and sweeter. I have just made a salsa with the other half and it’s destined to top a grilled chicken paillarde for dinner this evening. Sweet and quite hot, serve some simple steamed rice along side to help squelch the fire!

Canary Melon Salsa
½ ripe canary melon – diced
1 small or ½ large, red pepper – diced
½ red onion – diced
3 garlic scapes – diced or 1 clove garlic finely – minced
½ inch piece of fresh ginger – peeled and grated
½ tsp. Thai chili oil or 1 small Thai chili pepper minced **
1-2 Tbs. canola oil
¼ cup lemon or lime juice or a combination of both
salt & pepper to taste
1-2 Tbs. cilantro – roughly chopped
Combine all ingredients except cilantro in a bowl and toss to combine.
Let marinate for ½ hour and serve with chips, pita toasts or as an accompaniment to chicken, pork, or fish.
Garnish with cilantro
Yields approximately two cups
**Start with a little of the fresh chili or chili oil, give it a mix then taste. You can always add more but once it’s too hot it’s hard to go back.
A special note:
Take care when handling chilies. Wear gloves and/or wash your hands really thoroughly after you touch them and try REALLY hard not to get them or their lovely essence anywhere near your eyes!!!

Cat Morris

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