The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

August 29, 2012

Amanda Stone: Ripe melons worth wait

By Amanda Stone
Globe Columnist

CARTHAGE, Mo. — I had the most amazing melon today. It’s melons like these that keep me coming back. If you’re a melon lover, you can empathize.

 I have had at least as much bad melon as good. However, I always have my hopes up that as I take my first bite, it will be soft, sweet and juicy even though I know it’s more likely to be the opposite. The good ones are so good that I refuse to give up.

Fortunately, melons are ripening quickly in this part of the country. There’s no need to rush. The melons will wait for you. I waited for weeks for my lone watermelon to ripen. I haven’t even cut it open yet. I’m afraid I’ll be disappointed. I was able to salvage two tiny ambrosia melons. They have the best flavor if left to ripen on the vine, but I had to save them from the squash beetle rampage. So they hung out on my counter for a few days. One was a huge disappointment, the other was sweet perfection. Signs of ripeness differ from melon to melon, so do your research to get the most bang for your buck.

The amazing melon I had today was a canary melon. It deserves recognition. I have dubbed it the “Cinderella” of melons. While it’s true that I am completely immersed in daily life with my 3-year-old daughter, the similarities should be noted. We see a variety of watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew at picnics and restaurants. Canary melon is shunned. Its melon stepsisters get to go to the ball, but the bright and beautiful canary melon is left. The next time you see the striking yellow melon at the market, give it a chance. The flesh is creamy white and so sweet.

 

Avocado melon salad

1 canary melon or cantaloupe, seeded and cut into bite sized chunks

1 avocado, pitted, skinned and sliced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 teaspoons honey

Whisk lime juice, olive oil, honey and a dash of salt together in a large bowl. Add melon, avocado and tomatoes; toss to coat. Add more salt to taste.

Canary melon salsa

1/2 canary melon, peeled and cubed

1/2 jicama, peeled and cubed

1 jalapeno, seeded and diced

1/2 onion diced

Handful of basil leaves, chopped

Juice of one lime

2 tablespoons rice wine or red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

Mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Stir in basil before serving. Serve as a side dish or as a tasty topping for chicken or fish. Add salt to taste.

Have questions? Email them to amandastone31@hotmail.com or mail her c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802.