5 Cantaloupe Pairings to Test Out Immediately

With its tender, pastel-orange flesh, this seasonal melon is the unsung hero of the produce section, offering the kind of versatility that many other fruits lack.
By: Emily Lee

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Here at Food Network, it’s hard for us to understand why cantaloupe is routinely passed over in favor of other fruits. We think it might have something to do with cottage cheese, the traditional pairing and designated dish for dieters. Like a boring date that's dragged on for too long, cantaloupe needs to cut the cord and move on — especially given the range of superior suitors. Cured meat, ice cream ... you get the picture. With its tender, pastel-orange flesh, this seasonal melon is truly the produce section's darling, offering the kind of versatility that many other fruits lack. In the United States, the best cantaloupes can be found from June until August, so take advantage of this fleeting crop while summer’s still in full swing. Here are five delicious pairing ideas that will give this warm-weather fruit the refresh it needs.

Cantaloupe + Cucumber

Cantaloupe and cucumber engage in a delicious summer romance in Alex Guarnaschelli's  bright and refreshing soup, where diced cucumber provides a cool, crunchy bite in each spoonful of smooth blended melon. For a heartier take on this fresh summer pairing, try Food Network Magazine's  Glazed Hens with Cucumber-Cantaloupe Salad.

prosciutto-wrapped-crostini-with-melon-salsa-recipe

prosciutto-wrapped-crostini-with-melon-salsa-recipe

Cantaloupe + Prosciutto

Prosciutto-wrapped honeydew is a common summer appetizer, and these  seasonal crostini offer a fun twist on the usual. The ripe cantaloupe salsa is the ideal sweet balance to salty meat and melted Parmesan cheese.

Cantaloupe + Vanilla Ice Cream

Move over, strawberries. This thick and dreamy blend of  ripe cantaloupe and vanilla ice cream will quickly replace your previous go-to milkshake forever after.

Cantaloupe + Spiced Nuts

Amp up chopped pecans by tossing them in a sweet and spicy blend of maple syrup- and Old Bay seasoning. Once roasted and crunchy, they pair beautifully with cool, ripe cantaloupe in this  Melon Salad with Bourbon-Maple Vinaigrette.

20130125_FoodNetwork_S07_0228.tif

20130125_FoodNetwork_S07_0228.tif

Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop Stylist: Pamela Duncan Silver

Photo by: Johnny Miller

Johnny Miller

Cantaloupe + Booze

Revisit the legendary pairing of cantaloupe and booze in the form of Alex's  Old-School Melon Cocktails. Puree the cantaloupe with apple cider, lemon juice and honey to create a sweet but not overwhelming base for your favorite variety of gin.

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