I love cantaloupe.
My best advice for buying sweet cantaloupe is to buy in-season. In East Dallas, that means June – August. Toward the end of August, it can often be found on sale.
Here are a few tips on picking a sweet, dripping-down-your-chin melon.
See: Inspect the outside. The skin should be tan-colored and free of dents and bruises.
Feel: The melon should feel solid and heavy with no soft spots. Heaviness means ripeness.
Smell: Sniff the bottom spot where the stem was once attached. It should smell like cantaloupe. Unripe cantaloupes have no smell.
Taste: Some grocery stores and farmer’s markets offer samples (especially on the weekend). If so, don’t pass up a free taste test.
Cantaloupe has amazing health benefits including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support. One cup provides 100% of the daily recommended allowance of Vitamin A.
The following is a great summer salad, similar to everyone’s favorite Caprese Salad.
1 medium cantaloupe cut into small cubes
10-12 basil leaves, chiffonaded
1 cup fresh mozzarella cut into small pieces
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
red wine vinegar
juice from one lime
Toss cantaloupe, basil, cheese and onion in a bowl. Drizzle vinegar, a long pour of olive oil, and lime juice over fruit. Stir. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste. Let stand in refrigerator thirty minutes before serving. Serves 4-6.
Grace Grits and Gardening