Melon balls with tequila, lime and mint

Gorgeous, slimming, and refreshing at the end of a meal.

Try and get a “melon baller” for this recipe as it will make your life so much easier. They are easy to find these days and you can also get one online.

Serves 4

1 honeydew melon, preferably chilled
3 tbsp cold tequila
finely grated zest of 1/2 lime plus extra to serve
Juice of 1/2 lime
A tiny pinch of sea salt
A few sprigs fresh English mint, leaves only, chopped

Halve the melon and remove the seeds with a spoon. Using a melon baller, scoop the flesh into neat balls and place in a large bowl.

Mix the tequila, lime zest and juice, honey, and salt together in a small pitcher.
Taste and add a little more honey if the dressing is too sour.
Pour over the melon balls, toss very gently to mix and chill for at least 15 minutes.

Divide the melon balls among serving glasses, grate over some lime zest and sprinkle with freshly chopped mint to serve



Grilled asparagus,mozzarella, prosciutto and melon salad

Thank you to Giada De Laurentiis for this recipe. I like to serve this with a fillet of broiled wild salmon on the side.

4 -6 servings

3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
1 lb asparagus
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tbsp
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 small melon (about 12 oz) peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2″ cubes
4 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into 3/4″ cubes
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the prosciutto in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. bake for 12- 14 minutes until crispy. Drain on paper towels. Chop the prosciutto into 1/4″ pieces
Place a grill pan over medium high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. In a medium bowl toss together the asparagus and 2 tsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill for 2- 3 minutes each side until crisp tender.
In a medium bowl combine the lemon juice and 2 tbsp olive oil. Whisk until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the melon and mozzarella cheese and toss until all ingredients are combined.
Arrange the asparagus on a platter. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the melon and mozzarella cheese on top of the asparagus.
Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette over the top. Sprinkle the prosciutto and pine nuts on top and serve.

To toast the pine nuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 8 to 12 minutes until lightly browned

Watermelon Salad with Feta, Pine Nuts and Basil

Watermelon and feta may sound like a strange combination to you, but it’s eaten this way all over the Eastern Mediterranean – the salty-sweet combination works really well. It’s a very pretty salad too.
Combined with the crunchy pine nuts and fragrant basil, this has become one of my favorite ways to enjoy this beautiful melon, and it’s reliably delicious whether I’ve managed to pick a perfect one or not.

Serves: 4 

about 1/2 medium-sized watermelon, flesh cubed or cut into slices and seeds removed
8oz/200g good-quality feta, crumbled

1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted 

handful fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
 (I have also used fresh mint which also works well)
a few spoonfuls of extra-virgin olive oil

freshly-ground black pepper 
Combine the watermelon, feta, pine nuts and basil leaves in a large bowl or platter. Drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with pepper. Eat immediately!!