Publix GreenWise Market Magazine - June 2008
Slice of Summer
Nothing satisfies on a hot day quite like a thirst-quenching melon.
Cool, juicy melons were made for summer. A beat-the-heat treat you can enjoy anytime the mercury rises, they're easy on calories, fat and sodium, and they're also packed with nutrients your body needs. Take watermelons, for instance. "They're good sources of potassium, vitamins A and C, and some fiber. They also provide high levels of lycopene, an antioxidant that has been linked to reducing the risk of some cancers," says Robin Plotkin, R.D., a Dallas-based nutrition consultant.
But don't stop there. Each variety of melon provides its own unique combination of nutrients and phytochemicals. Plotkin's personal rule regarding melons: "Always purchase one that is unfamiliar and see what delicious flavor and nutrients await."
There are thousands of varieties of melons, which are members of the gourd family. The recipes that follow, along with the guide to common melons found at your neighborhood Publix, are just a sampler.
Cantaloupe. The netted rind opens to reveal bright orange flesh, a calorie bargain at 56 calories per cup. Southern-grown Athena cantaloupes are exceptionally large. Split one in half, scoop out the seeds and you're left with two perfect serving bowls for a summer fruit salad or parfait. Or toss cantaloupe cubes with a bag of Publix GreenWise Market Organic Salad Greens, feta cheese and toasted almonds for a summer salad.
Crenshaw. Within the smooth, yellow rind of a crenshaw is a salmon-pink flesh that some regard as the most flavorful of the melon world. High in vitamins A and C, crenshaws contain a measly 31 calories in a 3.5-ounce serving. Mix its flavor with other melons in a chilled soup or top your breakfast granola with bite-size chunks.
Galia. This round melon with netted skin contains green, juicy flesh. With lots of vitamins A and C, one-quarter of a Galia provides 50 calories. Dice into salsa to serve with grilled salmon or spoon fresh berries over a Galia wedge for a delectable dessert.
Honeydew. The sweet flesh of the honeydew comes in shades of green, orange and creamy yellow. Packed with vitamin C, one-tenth of a honeydew will set you back only 50 calories. Skewer honeydew cubes onto fruit kebabs, wrap them with prosciutto as an appetizer, or blend and freeze them into a sorbet.
Juan Canary. With 44 calories per cup, this melon has a canary-yellow rind and crisp, cream-colored flesh. Serve with just a spritz of lime juice, or arrange shrimp and cilantro on a wedge of melon for a special salad.
You'll get a lot of mouthwatering flavor for a skinny 46 calories per cup. Go crazy with this perennial favorite: Stir it into curried side dishes, grill it with sandwiches or puree it into a meat glaze. But don't miss out on watermelon at its best. Grab a thick, meaty triangle, take a big bite and let the juice run down your chin. It doesn't get any better than that.
Picking a Perfect One
Ah, the mysteries that await when you split open a melon. Will it taste like a cucumber or will it have been ripened to perfection? Harry Schwartz, chef, author and television host has developed a number of recipes starring watermelon, suggests, "Look for even color and a blemish-free exterior. Pick it up and see if it feels heavy for its size, which indicates that it is dense, juicy and sweet."
A good, ripe melon is uniform in shape and firm with a slight softness (without being soggy). When it comes to cantaloupes, look for a soft blossom end. A ripe crenshaw should be yellow, not green. Honeydews should be pale yellow, not greenish white. Ripe watermelons have a nice waxy surface - not too shiny and not too dull.
Your neighborhood Publix carries a wide selection of organic ingredients, including those shown with an asterisk (*) in the recipes that follow.
Pork Barbecue with Melon Salsa
START TO FINISH: 1 hour
A zippy mixture, Jamaican jerk seasoning usually includes allspice, thyme and Scotch bonnet chile peppers. Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, bay leaves and nutmeg may also be added.
1½ cups diced honeydew melon*
1½ cups diced cantaloupe melon*
1½ cups diced watermelon*
1 tablespoon snipped fresh mint
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice*
1 tablespoon Publix GreenWise Market Organic Honey*
1 tablespoon Jamaican jerk seasoning
1 Publix GreenWise Market All-Natural Pork Tenderloin (about 1½ pounds total)
ONE For salsa, combine honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, mint, lemon juice and honey in a medium mixing bowl. Cover and chill for up to 1 hour.
TWO Sprinkle Jamaican jerk seasoning evenly over meat, pressing onto surface. For a charcoal grill, arrange hot coals around a drip pan. Test for medium-high heat above pan. Place meat on grill rack over pan. Cover and grill for 30 to 35 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 155°F. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium-high. Adjust for indirect cooking. Grill as above.) Remove meat from grill. Cover with foil and let stand for 10 minutes. (The meat's temperature will rise 5°F during standing.) Slice pork diagonally and serve with salsa. Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 173 cal., 1 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 63 mg chol., 214 mg sodium, 13 g carbo., 1 g dietary fiber, 26 g protein.
|Fontina and Melon Salad|
START TO FINISH: 30 minutes
An Italian cheese, Fontina has a mild, nutty taste. Swiss cheese offers a delicious alternative for this hearty salad.
2½ cups dried bow tie pasta* (about 6 ounces)
2 cups cantaloupe* and/or honeydew* melon chunks
¾ cup cubed Fontina or Swiss cheese (3 ounces)
1⁄3 cup poppy seed salad dressing
2 cups watercress, stems removed
ONE Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water. Drain again.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 355 cal., 14 g total fat (6 g sat. fat), 25 mg chol., 357 mg sodium, 44 g carbo., 2 g dietary fiber, 12 g protein.
TWO In a large bowl toss together pasta, melon and cheese. Pour dressing over pasta mixture, tossing gently to coat. (If desired, cover the salad and chill in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.)
THREE To serve, stir watercress into pasta mixture. Makes 4 servings.
START TO FINISH: 10 minutes
Skip the seeding step by choosing an organic seedless watermelon. The nutritional value of seeded and seedless varieties is the same.
2 cups cubed watermelon,* seeded
½ cup apple juice*
1⁄3 cup lemon* or lime juice
1 to 2 tablespoons Publix GreenWise Market Organic Honey*
Mint sprigs (optional)
ONE In a blender combine watermelon, apple juice, lemon juice and honey. Cover and blend until smooth. Serve over ice. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired. Makes 2 to 3 servings.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 117 cal., 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 4 mg sodium, 31 g carbo.,
1 g dietary fiber, 1 g protein.
|Sorbet Melon Parfaits|
START TO FINISH: 30 minutes
Hosting a special event? Substitute sparkling wine for the sparkling apple juice.
¾ cup chilled, seeded watermelon,* balled
¾ cup chilled, seeded cantaloupe melon,* balled
¾ cup chilled, seeded honeydew melon,* balled
1 cup lemon sorbet
½ cup sparkling apple juice, chilled
ONE Using a melon baller, make melon balls and chill.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 99 cal., 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 24 mg sodium, 25 g carbo., 1 g dietary fiber, 1 g protein.
TWO Divide melon balls among four wine glasses or goblets. Place a scoop of sorbet atop melon. Pour 2 tablespoons juice over sorbet and melon. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Chicken and Couscous Salad
START TO FINISH: 25 minutes
Chutney is a sweet-tart condiment with the consistency of jelly. Any fruit chutney can be served in place of the mango flavor that's called for.
2½ cups water
1½ teaspoons curry powder
1 10-ounce package couscous* (1½ cups)
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup mango chutney
2 cups shredded chicken from a Publix Deli Rotisserie Chicken
5 green onions,* trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup grape tomatoes,* each tomato halved
½ of a medium cantaloupe,* seeded, rind removed and melon cut into ¾-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
3 cups torn butterhead (Boston or Bibb) lettuce leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges
ONE In a medium saucepan bring the water and curry powder to a boil. Stir in the couscous and salt. Cover the saucepan; remove the pan from heat. Let stand 5 minutes or until water is absorbed by the couscous.
TWO Stir about half of the chutney into the couscous mixture.
THREE In a medium bowl combine the chicken, green onions, tomatoes, melon and remaining chutney.
FOUR To serve, arrange torn lettuce on six individual plates. Spoon couscous onto the lettuce then top with the chicken mixture. Squeeze a lime wedge over each serving. Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 353 cal., 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 42 mg chol., 428 mg sodium, 57 g carbo.,
4 g dietary fiber, 22 g protein.
|Melon and Radish Salad|
START TO FINISH: 35 minutes
Peppery watercress, a member of the mustard family, adds a spicy bite to this salad. When measuring greens such as watercress, pack them loosely.
½ small honeydew melon,* seeded, peeled and cut into very thin bite-size pieces (2 cups)
½ small cantaloupe melon,* seeded, peeled and cut into very thin bite-size pieces (2 cups)
8 to 10 red radishes, very thinly sliced (¾ to 1 cup)
¼ cup fresh watercress leaves
1 tablespoon Publix GreenWise Market Organic Honey*
½ cup sour cream*
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
1⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Watercress leaves (optional)
ONE In a large bowl combine melon pieces and radish slices; set aside. In a mini food processor combine the ¼ cup watercress and honey. Cover and process until almost smooth. Or finely chop watercress and stir in honey.
TWO In a small bowl stir together watercress mixture, sour cream, salt and pepper until well combined. Chill until ready to serve.
THREE To serve, toss melon salad with dressing. Garnish with watercress leaves, if desired. Makes 9 (½-cup) servings.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 61 cal., 3 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 6 mg chol., 54 mg sodium, 9 g carbo., 1 g dietary fiber, 1 g protein.
Make-Ahead Tip: Cover and chill cut melon up to 2 days. Prepare dressing as directed; cover and chill up to 24 hours.
© Copyright Meredith Corporation 2008. All rights reserved. Recipes reprinted with permission.