Press "Enter" to skip to content

The Sailaway Gourmet

Here we are in August. And it’s hot. I hope you are all enjoying the summer and getting lots of time out on the water. I don’t know about you, but when it’s hot I enjoy eating lots of cold foods. As August is the big time of the year for fruits here in the Northeast, I thought we might make some tasty dishes using melons, that don’t take a lot of time to prepare.

Cantaloupes, honeydews and watermelons are in season now. There are different ways to check each variety for ripeness. Cantaloupes should be a nice yellow-orange color. The fruit will also have a sweet and musky aroma if it’s ready to be eaten. There should be no stem and a slight indent where the stem was, which indicates that it came off the vine easily, ready for picking. A ripe watermelon will be slightly dull in appearance, not vibrant and shiny. Check the spot where the fruit was in contact with the ground – it should be cream or yellow in color. If it is white, it’s not ripe yet. If it’s a dark yellow it’s overripe. Honeydews will have a light yellow or creamy color to them. If the skin has a texture on its surface, it is a sweet melon. It should also sound hollow if it is knocked.
Now check out the following recipes and go get some melons!! These are delicious. And in case you’re just thirsty, I included an easy refreshing watermelon cocktail to enjoy.

Melon Caprese Skewers
1 small cantaloupe scooped into balls
1 small honeydew scooped into balls
1 small seedless watermelon scooped into balls
20 fresh water-packed mozzarella balls drained
10 thin slices of prosciutto cut in half lengthwise, gathered into a ruffle
Small wooden skewers about 4-6 inches long
Sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper
For Basil Vinaigrette *
1 shallot roughly chopped
2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves, stems
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. kosher salt

Thread an assortment of the ingredients on the skewer – melon ball, basil leaf, mozzarella ball, ruffled prosciutto, etc. Arrange skewers on a platter. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of the basil vinaigrette and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
*The remainder of the basil vinaigrette will keep in the refrigerator for a week.

Corn, Zucchini and Cantaloupe Salad with Prosciutto and Fresh Herbs
4 cups cubed cantaloupe
2 ears of cooked corn, kernels sliced off
1 medium zucchini, trimmed and peeled into ribbons
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 cup each of torn fresh basil & mint leaves
3 ounces Serrano ham (or substitute with pancetta), cut into strips and rolled
About 2-3 Tbs any buttermilk or Ranch dressing

Add the cantaloupe, corn kernels and zucchini ribbons to a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine. Add the basil and mint leaves, tossing gently to combine.

Transfer the salad to a serving bowl or plate. Add the rolled prosciutto. Drizzle with the buttermilk dressing and serve immediately.

Watermelon White Wine Spritzer
2 cups watermelon, cubed and chilled
1 Tb. agave nectar
2 cups white wine, chilled
2 cups club soda, chilled
4 watermelon wedges for garnish

Add the watermelon and agave nectar into a blender, and pulse until smooth. If desired, pour through cheesecloth to strain.

Divide the mixture among 4 rock glasses. Top each glass with 1/2 cup of white wine and 1/2 cup of club soda. Garnish each glass with a watermelon wedge and serve.