24 October 2017Last updated

Food | Recipes

Make amazing dishes with melons

Cantaloupes and watermelon add refreshing colour, texture and taste to your light summer dishes

StockFood/Camera Press
4 Aug 2017 | 12:00 am

Watermelon salad with olives and feta cheese


Prep time 10 mins
Serves 4

300g cherry tomatoes, halved
200g black olives
½ small watermelon, peeled, de-seeded, and cut into chunks
1 small bunch mint, leaves only
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
100g feta, thinly sliced

Combine tomatoes, olives, watermelon and mint leaves in a large serving bowl. Add olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste, tossing to combine. Arrange feta on top of the salad before serving.

Thai beef and melon salad


Prep time 25 mins
Cooking time 2 mins
Serves 4

100ml rice vinegar
2 tsp fish sauce
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp sesame oil
300g thin rice noodles
450g sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into slices
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 large vine tomatoes, cored and roughly sliced
1 small Cantaloupe melon, peeled, de-seeded and roughly sliced
1 cucumber, halved, de-seeded, and sliced
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 small bunch coriander, roughly torn

Whisk together the vinegar, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar, 1 tbsp sesame oil, and 1/2 tsp salt in a small saucepan. Warm over a low heat, stirring, until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Soak the noodles in a large bowl of hot water until tender, about 10 minutes. In the meantime, heat a wok or large sauté pan over a high heat until hot. Toss the steak slices with the sunflower oil and some salt and pepper to taste. Add the steak to the wok or pan and stir-fry until golden at the edges but pink in the middle, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan to a mixing bowl. Drain the noodles when ready and refresh in a bowl of cold water. Drain again and toss with the remaining sesame oil. Add to the steak along with the tomatoes, melon, cucumber, spring onions, and coriander. Add the prepared dressing and toss well to coat. Divide between plates before serving.

Red pepper, melon and couscous layered salad


Prep time 15 mins
Assembly time 15 mins
Serves 4

175g couscous
500ml hot vegetable stock
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white grape vinegar
2 red peppers, cored, de-seeded and finely diced
500g cream cheese, softened
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 small handful basil leaves, finely sliced, plus extra to garnish
½ Galia melon, peeled, de-seeded and roughly sliced

Place the couscous in a heatproof bowl and stir in the stock. Cover the bowl tightly with clingfilm and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the olive oil and white grape vinegar with a little salt and pepper to taste in a mixing bowl. Add the peppers, stir well, and let stand at room temperature. In the meantime, beat the cream cheese with the lemon juice, 3 tbsp hot water, and some salt and pepper to taste in a mixing bowl. Once the couscous has absorbed the stock, fluff with a fork to separate the grains. Stir the sliced basil into the red peppers. To assemble, place a metal ring mould on a serving plate. Fill with a layer of the couscous, packing it down with the back of a tablespoon. Top with some cream cheese followed by an even layer of melon slices. Top with a thin layer of red pepper followed by more couscous and more cream cheese. Top with more melon and spoon over some dressed red pepper. Garnish with sprigs of basil before serving.

Thinly sliced duck, grilled melon and avocado a la plancha


Prep time 10 mins
Cook time 20 mins
Serves 4

2 large duck breasts, with skin, trimmed of excess fat
Sunflower oil
½ small Cantaloupe melon
1 large avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and cut into cubes
1 orange, zest pared and thinly sliced

Preheat a griddle pan to a moderately hot temperature. Score the skin side of the duck breasts in a criss-cross pattern using the tip of a sharp knife. Rub both sides with salt and pepper. Brush the griddle pan with a little sunflower oil. Drizzle the duck breasts with about 1 tbsp oil before placing onto the pan, skin sides facing down. Grill for about 6-8 minutes until the skins are golden-brown and charred before turning and cooking for a further 4-6 minutes until firm to the touch with a little spring when pressed. Remove from the grill and wrap loosely in aluminium foil. Scoop out at least eight balls from the melon with a melon baller. Trim two sides of the balls flat with a sharp knife to create puck shapes. Brush the melon with a little oil before grilling on the griddle pan until charred on both sides, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the grill and set aside to rest. Cut the duck into thin slices and present on plates with the melon and avocado. Spoon over any duck juices from the foil and garnish with orange zest before serving.

Crisp fish with melon salsa


Prep time 15 mins
Cooking time 7 mins
Serves 4

For salsa, mix:
¼ cucumber, diced
¼ papaya, diced
1 slice of melon of your choice, diced
6 tomatoes, diced
1 spring onion, chopped
½ avocado, diced
2 tbsp chopped coriander
Juice and zest of 1 lime or lemon
For the fish:
4 skin-on fresh fish fillets (200g each) – sea bass works well
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lime or lemon
Watercress, to garnish (optional)

Season the fish with salt and set aside. Just before serving, heat the oil in a frying pan. Fry the fish fillets skin side down until browned and crisp. Turn and season with lemon or lime juice and zest. Cover and steam-fry until the fish is just done (the flesh should be white and flake easily with a fork.) Season with pepper. Transfer the fish to a plate, spoon over a little of the pan juices and top with a scoop of salsa. Garnish with watercress, if using.

StockFood/Camera Press

StockFood/Camera Press