It’s late summer and the delicious melons from Lattin Farms in Fallon are at our Farmers Markets in abundance. Lattin Farms has been farming in the Lahontan Valley for five generations. The wonderful folks from Holley Family Farms have them for sale at their booth at the Saturday Carson Farmers Market. Drop by to check out their beautiful produce, pork, and beef.
The cantaloupe featured here are the “Sarah’s Choice” variety. I have been enjoying these juicy melons many ways: in salads, salsas, and smoothies. The sweet cantaloupe livens up my savory salads and brings delicious summery sweetness to the savory vegetables. For example, the cantaloupe is delicious with a simple cucumber tomato salad, where I add a little Walla Walla sweet onion and flat leaf parsley. I make a simple vinaigrette of rice wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper, and I have a lovely side salad in just a few minutes. This week’s recipe for sweet and savory cantaloupe salad combines peppery arugula and radish with the cantaloupe — another great option for an easy backyard dinner.
I’ve also included cantaloupe in my salsas.
Ripe cantaloupe makes a wonderful savory/sweet salsa that you can use to top grilled chicken, fish, or shrimp. I like mine a little bit spicy, since the sweet cantaloupe balances out the spiciness of the peppers.
To make the salsa: dice into small pieces 1/4 Walla Walla Sweet Onion, 1/2 cantaloupe, about 1/2 of a Serrano or Jalapeño pepper, the greens of 1 green onion, 2 sprigs of cilantro (or flat leaf Italian parsley), and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
Finally, my breakfasts have been complete with a cantaloupe smoothie. I like to use an entire melon in my smoothies. Cut melon away from rind and chop into large pieces. Combine in a Vitamix or other blender low fat Greek yogurt, 1 whole melon, a handful of spinach, a pinch of salt, 1/4 cup of coconut water, and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
You can vary this recipe in many ways by adding a second or third fruit of your choice, some fresh mint, or some cinnamon. Also, if you want a more decadent smoothie, you can use whole milk Greek yogurt and substitute heavy cream instead of the coconut water. The most important thing to remember is that the cantaloupe flavor is subtle, so when adding your herbs or spices be sure to add them in small amounts so as to not overpower the cantaloupe flavor. Enjoy!
Sweet and Savory Cantaloupe Salad
1/2 pound Arugula (or mixed greens of your choice) 3 medium sized Radishes, sliced thin
3 medium to Large Carrots, shredded
1 ripe Pear
1 small to medium sized Cantaloupe
1 handful of Italian or Flat Leaf Parsley, rough chopped 1 tablespoon Black Sesame Seeds
For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 Lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil Salt and Pepper to taste
Angela Bullentini Wolf is Owner/Manager of Gather, a farm to table, fine casual restaurant located at 402 N. Carson Street in downtown Carson City. Gather is open for in-person dining Wednesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner as well as takeout Tuesday-Saturday from 11am-7:30pm. Our menu can be found at http://www.gathercc.com/our-menu, or on Facebook @GatherCarsonCity. Call us at (775) 433-0200.