Eating seasonally is food foreplay. As I slow-roasted my first batch of cherry tomatoes this weekend, I knew it would be the beginning of a tomato orgy. Two days in a row, I gorged on so much panzanella, my stomach ached. Two huge bowls of tomatoes sit on the dining room table, waiting to be canned (tomato jam or marinara sauce, is the dilemma). I know this affair is a short one, considering tomatoes are only in season two months out of twelve.
But the recipe I’m sharing today has nothing to do with tomatoes. I have nothing prolific to say about cantaloupe, or perhaps I had nothing to say until I started looking at it differently. Michael loved eating cubed cantaloupe. The girls follow in his footsteps. As for me, I never get a craving for it. It’s likely due to the fact that buying melons is like going to Vegas. You plunk your money down, hope for the best, and aren’t surprised at the dismal results. I’ve never gambled, even having been to Vegas twice for business, but imagine that’s how it goes.
Virginia’s eyes lit up last week when we found cantaloupes at the farmstand. The girls have both been begging for melon, only to hear me say yet again “sorry sweetie, it’s not in season yet”. One taste of that cantaloupe, though, and she realized her patience was worth every second (okay, maybe I’m projecting what I hope she felt).
The next day I planned lunch as I do most meals. I opened the fridge and surveyed the leftovers first. I found a container with fruit from the previous night’s dinner, a mix of blueberries and cut up cantaloupe. After fishing out the blueberries, I dumped the cantaloupe in a blender, added some simple syrup, a squeeze of lime, and gave it all a whirl until it was pureed. You need lots of ice to serve this, so plan accordingly. The girls loved it, and Virginia tried to make a case for adding a splash of Lillet to her glass, but lost that battle.
Cantaloupe & Lillet Sparkler
Makes about one quart
While this is called a Cantaloupe & Lillet Sparkler, you can easily leave out the Lillet for a non-alcoholic refresher. Another option is swapping gin or vodka for Lillet.
Music Pairing: Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads
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1 1/2 cups (215 grams) chopped cantaloupe
1/4 cup simple syrup
Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 a lime
1 1/2 cups sparking water or seltzer
Lots of ice
Lillet, to top off
Lime wedges, to garnish
Add the cantaloupe and syrup to a blender. Puree until very smooth. Stir in the lime juice and sparkling water. Fill glasses with a lot of ice, preferably crushed. Pour the cooler over the ice, leaving room to top off with some Lillet. Garnish with lime wedges.
Some more summer sippin’ inspiration from friends at Food Network celebrating this week’s Summer Soiree:
Feed Me Phoebe: Grilled Strawberry-Mint Bellinis
The Lemon Bowl: Raspberry-Ginger Bellini
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: White Peach Sangria
The Heritage Cook: Refreshing Lime Coolers
The Cultural Dish: Pimm’s Cup
Virtually Homemade: Frozen Lime Margaritas with a Sangria Swirl
Weelicious: Strawberry Lemonade
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Strawberry Gimlets with Homemade Strawberry Vodka
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Cucumber and Sage Cocktail
Red or Green: Frozen Tri-Melon Cocktail
Dishing With Divya: Caipirinha
Poet in the Pantry: Pirate’s Booty Call
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Watermelon Malibu Surf
Sweet Life Bake: Boozy Affogato
Devour: 5 Boozy Summer Coolers
Domesticate Me: Blueberry Mojito Royale
Haute Apple Pie: Classic Mojito
Daily*Dishin: Blackberry Rum Shrub
Taste With The Eyes: Korean Soju Kimbap Bloody Mary
FN Dish: Sip Your Way Through Summer (Recipes)