Hot and cold
By Mark Mulcahy
Summer brings the heat and the need to stay cool. I don’t believe there is any produce item that represents refreshing coolness better than Melissa’s organic melons! We all have our favorites, the firm orange fleshed cantaloupe, the deep red colored crimson sweet watermelon, sweetly flavored and finely fleshed, or even the moon melon from ancient times known today as the honeydew.
They all have wonderful qualities, and each brings its own bit of summer satisfaction. But it’s the intense perfume of the Galia that keeps me coming back for more. It is sweet and aromatic, with a light green, smooth-textured flesh that literally melts in your mouth. And the flavor takes the best of cantaloupe and honeydew and blends them together, creating a unique and complex taste that lingers long after the bite. This hybrid melon, developed in Israel from a cantaloupe-honeydew cross, can be recognized by its slightly green tinged cantaloupe skin and rich, intoxicating scent. Unlike many other melons, a Galia’s ripeness is measured not by a give or softness at the stem end, but rather by its color and wonderful fragrance.
Galia Buyers Tip:
The more orange in color the exterior skin of the Galia melon is, the higher the sugar content.
When taken home, Galia's are good keepers and can be left on the counter until ready to eat. Once you’ve cut into them if you can resist the temptation to eat the whole thing, it will hold up wrapped in your frig for another 3 days.
If you haven’t tried your regular favorites yet this summer, you may want to buy them first because once you buy a Galia you may never go back! As I mentioned, Galia’s rarely ever make it into the frig once I’ve opened one up, but I wanted to expand my horizons and give it a chance to shine even more by using this recipe I adapted from Bon Appetit. The recipe calls for a honeydew but works really well with Melissa’s organic Galia melons as well.
1 1/3 cups finely diced, peeled, seeded Galia or other melon
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro plus 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 for the salsa, 1 tablespoon for coating the outside of the chicken
Organic olive oil
4 organic boneless chicken breast halves with skin
Combine diced melon, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, finely diced red onion, lime juice, olive oil, grated lime peel, and chopped serrano chile in a medium bowl. Toss to blend flavors. Season melon salsa to taste with salt and pepper.
Coat chicken breasts with olive oil, prepare barbecue (medium heat). Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Grill chicken breasts until skin is crisp and brown and chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. (165 degrees internal temp.)
Slice chicken breasts and arrange on plates. Top with melon salsa and cilantro leaves and serve this perfect combo of hot and cold summer goodness.
Grilled organic corn and zucchini spears will round out this meal wonderfully.
Enjoy the heat and stay cool!