I’ve kind of been obsessed with cantaloupe lately. I eat it during breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday and still don’t get tired of it! I think it’s the most perfect out of all the melons. It’s sweet, but not as piercingly sweet as honeydew. It’s refreshing and juicy in a more substantial way than watermelon. And it’s just has a very calming quality to it. It’s pleasant and soothing like dawn during summertime.
I’ve been buying cantaloupes non-stop for the past couple weeks. Even before I’m finished with one, I’ll buy another so there’s no “in between time.” Half a melon is always sitting in the refrigerator. My roommates probably think that I either ate the other half a long time ago, and never got around to finishing the rest, or that I’m a cantaloupe freak who eats way too much of the same thing every day. Which one is better?
Despite the fact that I’ve bought what feels like over 50 melons this summer, I haven’t cooked or made anything with it. Usually I eat it plain, sliced into bite sized pieces. When I’m feeling rich or fancy, maybe I’ll buy some prosciutto and wrap it around some melon goodness. But mostly, I like it alone in it’s natural form and taste.
However, I was flipping through a cookbook my friend gave me a few years ago and discovered a recipe I had never noticed before, cantaloupe granita! I immediately ran to the kitchen and within minutes everything was pureed, poured, and in the freezer. It’s that quick. Granita is a really summery dessert and would be perfect for a barbeque. The recipe is perfect. It’s short, sweet, and doesn’t compromise the melon’s natural flavors. I opted to use very little sugar, but you could add more if you’d like. Mine was definitely not super sweet like gelato or ICEEs, but it was sweet enough and light. It is the natural version of a snow cone with cool crystals of subtle melon ice.
Adapted from The Best of Gourmet
2 cups roughly chopped cantaloupe or 1/2 melon, seeded
1/2 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1 cup ice cubes
Mint to garnish, optional
Blend all ingredients until it is a smooth puree. Pour into a baking dish (preferably one that is 13 x 9 inches). Put into the freezer until it is a firm slush. Depending on the size of your dish it will be anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. Scrape with a fork. Serve in chilled glasses with mint.