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Mouthwatering Melon Recipes

Updated 10:33 PM EDT, Tue, Jul 13, 2010

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Melon was a favorite food of the late, great Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. In honor of the Boss, the Scotto family, proprietors of NYC's Fresco By Scotto restaurants and close friends of Steinbrenner, show us how to prepare four melon dishes.

Watermelon, Heirloom Cherry Tomato and Watercress Salad With Muscat Vinaigrette
Serves 6 to 8

A tip from the Scottos: The colder all the ingredients are, the better. Watermelon is always best ice cold.

2 bunches watercress
1/4 cup Muscat or white balsamic vinegar
Salt and cracked black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cups seedless or seeded red and yellow watermelon, cut into large cubes
2 cups cherry heirloom tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup crumbled Ricotta Salata cheese

Trim the stems of the watercress. Rinse the watercress and dry thoroughly. Keep the watercress chilled until you are ready to assemble the salad.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil.

Place the watercress, watermelon and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl and dress with the vinaigrette. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

Top the salad with crumbled cheese just before serving.

Watermelon and Cantaloupe Soup with Prosciutto

Serves 4 
3 cups red seedless watermelon, cut into medium dice
2 cups cantaloupe, cut into medium dice (reserve the cantaloupe halves for serving and refrigerate them)
Juice from 3 limes
1 cup fresh orange juice
Honey as needed
1/4 pound thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma, diced
Fresh basil leaves for garnish
Salt as needed

Purée watermelon and 1 cup of cantaloupe in blender with lime juice and orange juice until smooth. Season with a pinch of salt and adjust sweetness with honey only if needed. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pour watermelon and cantaloupe puree into the chilled, scooped-out melon halves. Top soup with remainder of diced melon and prosciutto. Garnish with whole basil leaf or top with chiffonade of basil and enjoy.

Honeydew, Cantaloupe Melon and Chicken Salad

Serves 4 to 6

2 shallots, minced
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon leaves plus tarragon sprigs for garnish
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 bunches arugula, coarse stems discarded, leaves washed well and spun dry (about 8 cups)
1 whole boneless cooked chicken breast, skin and fat removed and cut into bite-size cubes
1 cup honeydew melon balls
1 cup cantaloupe balls
Salt and pepper

In a bowl whisk together the shallots, vinegar, parsley and minced tarragon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the oil in a stream, whisking continuously until the dressing is emulsified.

Add the arugula, chicken, honeydew melon and cantaloupe. Toss well, garnish with tarragon sprigs and serve.

Cantaloupe Kebabs with Vanilla Mint Yogurt Sauce

Serves 6

1 cup plain yogurt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
1 cup chilled cantaloupe balls
6-inch wooden skewers, as many as needed

In a bowl whisk together yogurt, sugar, vanilla and mint. Refrigerate for up to a day before serving.

Skewer cantaloupe balls and serve with chilled yogurt sauce.

First Published: Jul 13, 2010 5:50 PM EDT

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