Friday, June 1, 2012

Veggie of the Week: Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is the most popular melon variety in the U.S. today and has been enjoyed by many civilizations throughout history. The exact origin of the fruit is unknown, though thought to be from either India, Africa, or ancient Persia. They were brought to America during colonial times but did not become widely grown and sold until the late 19th century. 

Cantaloupes have loads of vitamin A because of the concentrated amount of beta-carotene. Additional nutritional benefits include vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Research promotes cantaloupe as preventing loss of vision in adults and helps counteract the vitamin A deficiency associated with smoking.
To get the most antioxidants out of a cantaloupe, be sure to choose a fully ripened one. Because melons are picked before they are fully ripened, you can leave the melon out at room temperature for a few days allowing it to soften and become juicier. Be sure to store the ripe melon in the refrigerator and especially after it has been cut because salmonella contamination becomes more prevalent.

Skewered Cantaloupe

Prep time: 15 min.   Cook time: 6 min.   Serves: 4


1 cantaloupe-peeled, seeded, cubed
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. honey
1/3 c. chopped fresh mint leaves


1. Preheat grill for medium heat.
2. Thread cantaloupe chunks onto 4 skewers.
3. In small saucepan, heat butter and honey until melted. Stir in mint. Brush onto cantaloupe skewers.
4. Lightly oil grate. Grill skewers for 4 to 6 minutes, turning to brown all sides. Serve with remaining sauce.  

Prosciutto - Cantaloupe Bites


Yield: 8 skewers


16 cantaloupe cubes
a package slice prosciutto
1 lime, juice
2 teaspoons extra virgin love oil
pinch of crushed chili flake
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
Bamboo skewers


  • Combine lime juice, olive oil, and chili flake, whisk well. Set aside
  • Cut prosciutto in half lengthwise. You will get 2 slices out of 1 slice.
  • Wrap one cube with presliced prosciutto and secure it on a skewer one at a time. 2 wrapped cantaloupes per skewer.
  • Arrange them on a serving plate and drizzle with oil mixture. 
  • Sprinkle finely chopped mint when serving

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