Ice-green honeydew provides a luscious bite of vitamin C, folate, and vitamin B6; orange-fleshed varieties, a cross of cantaloupe and honeydew, offer beta-carotene, too. Because its smooth surface is less likely to trap pathogens (compared with “netted” melon skins), honeydew boasts a stellar food-safety record.
Choose melons that feel heavy, with no cracks or soft spots. If you buy precut melons, look for whiter rather than green flesh; white flesh indicates more ripeness and sweetness. Honeydew is one of those rare fruits that continues to ripen after picking. Keep cool, but avoid prolonged refrigeration.
Appetizer. Wrap thin proscuitto strips around honeydew cubes; thread on toothpicks or bamboo skewers, alternating with small arugula or basil leaves. Dust with a little ancho chile powder for color and heat.
Chutney. Simmer honeydew chunks with chopped onion, crushed red pepper flakes, minced fresh inger, golden raisins, champagne vinegar, brown sugar, and a cinnamon stick until thickened and syrupy. Cool and refrigerate; serve with creamy goat or Brie cheese and baguette slices.
Dessert. Whisk together fresh lemon zest, minced crystallized ginger, and a splash of lemon or orange juice. Pour over honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon balls and stir gently to coat; cover and chill for 2 hours or more. Serve alongside coconut or mango sorbet.
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