I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the vast world of melons this year. This expansive family, cucurbitaceae, includes the likes of cucumbers, squashes and even luffa, used to make a natural sponge.
From the more common watermelon and honeydew, to the ananas and galia melons, my house has been permeating with the sweet aroma of freshly harvested melons for the past month, and my plates are brimming with this wonderful seasonal offering.
A couple of weeks ago I encountered these beautiful prity melons from Jacob Grant of Roots Farm. This variety delivers a very unique sweet and sour flavor combination, with notes of sweet honeydew melon and tangy notes of lemon. With a firmer texture then most, they hold up very well in fruit salads.
This variety is excellent when paired with seafood preparations, particularly the wild salmon that has been readily available.
This week I incorporated some serrano chilies, fresh cilantro, and chickpeas in a simple prity melon salad. This can be enjoyed on its own as a complete meal or as a small side salad, pairing well with chicken, fish, and pork preparations.
Prity Melon Salad
1 prity melon, rind and seeds discarded, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 serrano chili, sliced very thin
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup, red onion, sliced thin
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Toss all ingredients together in a mixing bowl and gently toss. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator first if desired.
Yield: Makes 8 servings.
Sam Edelman is general manager of the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market Association and host of “Farm to Table,” which airs live at 9 a.m. Thursdays on KZSB AM 1290, the News-Press radio station.