Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Lime and mint syrup adds to refreshing
quality of honeydew melon

Cold, sweet, refreshing – a piece of melon, such as honeydew, watermelon, or cantaloupe, can be an amazing treat on a hot day.
   Although a piece of melon doesn’t need much embellishment to be delicious, I recently tried a recipe for pieces of honeydew melon covered with a terrific syrup that made for an amazing dessert. The recipe was called Melon Carpaccio with Lime (click for the recipe).
   The lime-based syrup is flavored with mint, along with a touch of vanilla bean and jalapeno pepper. It certainly sounds like an odd flavour combination, but it works beautifully.
   The syrup is served cold, as is the melon. The refreshment level is intoxicating.
   The melon is cut carpaccio-style, which means it is cut thinly. Don’t be afraid to pick up the pieces of melon and drop them in your mouth – it begs to be eaten that way.
   Sugar (I used Splenda instead) and water are brought to a boil in a small saucepan. Mint sprigs and jalapeno pepper are added, along with seeds from a vanilla bean and bean itself. The syrup is removed from the heat, covered, and left to steep for 15 minutes.
   The syrup is strained through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, and lime juice is stirred in.
   Melon (I used honeydew) is peeled, seeded, cut into thin slices, and arranged in a 13x9-inch glass baking dish. The syrup is poured over the melon, and the dish covered with plastic wrap and chilled for two hours to allow flavors to meld.
   After the two-hour chilling time, there are two options for the dish. The first is to pour the syrup off the melon and serve it immediately as directed. The second is to pour the syrup off the melon and refrigerate the two separately until they are ready to be served.
   To serve, the melon is arranged on plates, the syrup is poured over, and, if desired, a scoop of lemon, coconut or mango sorbet is placed in the middle.
   I didn’t bother with garnish of mint leaves and lime zest.

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