Time-saving tips to help you slice up what’s in season.
How to choose a melon
Do choose melons that:
· Have a dusty just picked look. Kind of like it has been waxed but the
wax has not been wiped off and polished yet.
· Have a light sweet smell.
· Have a smooth surface on the vine end where it was picked. It should
not have a shriveled stem, which indicates it was cut from the vine before it
was ripe. The smooth stem end indicates that it was pulled off when it was
ripe. Melons that are picked while green will continue to ripen after they are
picked but they will not get sweeter.
· Are slightly soft on the stem end when pushed with the thumb.
· Have a tiny blossom end.
· Aren’t too soft, too hard, or have indented dark spots on them.
When you buy the melons, especially watermelon, have them put in a
plastic bag with a handle. They will be easier to carry and not as likely to
be dropped. (If you buy them at Costco or Sams, take your own grocery bag
to make it easier to handle.)
Note: Always wash your melons before you slice them to keep
contamination from getting on the inside meat of the melon.
All melons are much easier to eat if they are cut up and in a
To cut up a complete watermelon in five minutes or less:
· Use a narrow knife with a 6″ blade.
· Cut the watermelon into quarters lengthwise.
· Run the knife between the meat of the watermelon and the rind from
end to end. The tip of the knife should reach to the middle of the quarter.
(Kind of like you would if you got a slice of cantaloupe with the rind on it
served on a plate in a restaurant.)
· Turn the quarter around and run the knife from end to end to cut the
other half from the rind.
· Leave the melon in the rind while slicing four long slices from tip to tip.
· Slice across the long slices to make smaller pieces for serving.
· Watermelon can be served right from the rind or it can be placed in a
container for easy serving.
Cantaloupe and Honeydew
Any round melons can be cut up using this method:
Start by cutting the stem end off, deep enough to get the stem off.
Using the knife start cutting the rind of the melon off, moving down the
melon, peeling it in a continuous motion as you would peel an apple.
About half way down the melon, break the peel off and then continue
moving down the melon.
If the melon is too large to hold, put it on the counter as you peel it.
Cut the melon from stem to blossom end lengthwise because it makes it
easier to scoop out the seeds. Seeds grow in a fibrous line and if cut
lengthwise will come right out with minimal scraping. Once the seeds are
out, cut the melon lengthwise into slices. To serve, cut into smaller pieces
or leave in long thin slices.
The Vidalia Onion Chopper to chop all kinds of fruits and veggies for
salads, salsas and casseroles. (Available at Bed, Bath and Beyond for
It has two grid sizes to use 1/2″ by 1/2″ and 1//4″ by 1/4″. If you need
small diced onions or celery, use the fine grid. The larger grid works well
for most other fruits and vegetables.
· strawberries for strawberry shortcake
· apples for Waldorf salad
· peaches for salads and pies
· melons for salads and fruit decorations
· onions, potatoes and celery for potato salad
· peppers for salsa and for freezing to use later
· cucumbers for salads
· tomatoes for salads and tacos
Melons are so versatile and can be served at a moments notice to add
elegance to any occasion.
Try this Sweet and Savory Pasta Salad for something different and
Sweet and Savory Pasta Salad
By Kathleen Alder
12 oz. warm cooked and drained pasta, any shape
Whisk until sugar is dissolved.
2 T. powdered Ranch dressing
1/2 t. salt
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. olive oil
1 c. white vinegar
Toss pasta with dressing. Chill several hours.
Because the fruit will get really juicy, just before serving, add the following:
1 c. chopped cantaloupe
1 c. chopped honeydew melon
1 c. chopped watermelon
1 c. grated parmesan cheese
Other ingredients to make various pasta salads, use any or all of the
1 c. chopped tomato
1 c. chopped cucumber
1 c. cubed chicken
1 c. artichoke hearts
1 small can sliced black olives
1 c. grated parmesan cheese
It may soak up all the dressing, so make up another batch of the dressing
to add later if you like it to be really moist.