Monday, August 24, 2009

Melon, lime, ginger

There is nothing I dislike more than produce these days. I am considering picketing both my local megamart and farmers market (which stocks "local" produce; local to Chile, Argentina, and Mexico specifically, but not here - maybe I no longer understand the definition?) over the utter tastelessness of their fruits and vegetables.

It makes my heart ache to remember the fruit and veggies I knew when I was a child and to think of the cardboard-tasting organics I am feeding my girls now. Will no price I am willing to pay bring anything decent home any longer? Seriously, this is deplorable. I speak to my daughter about the way food that came from my Mother's garden looked at smelled, and it bears no resemblence to the imposters in the crisper. I am pointing fingers at the produce industry: You abuse human beings as migrant labor to farm food that is not worth eating anyway. Stop the waste, both human and plant. Just go straight out of business: I know how to use a seed packet, jokers, okay?

I digress. I was saying: I grossly overpaid for a tasteless cantaloupe and honeydew at the local Fresh Market and once the depth of palate insult had sunk in, I had to rifle through the bookshelf to find this Breakfast Lunch Dinner, The Many Small Meals of Rose Bakery. Vaguely, I recalled, it had a recipe for something with melons. Melon recipes, beyond those involving cured Italian meats, are not that easy to come by; I had this Rose Bakery gem I tucked way mentally in case of just this event.

Rose Bakery is a staggeringly beautiful book, a memoir of feeding Paris its breakfasts: Images of the bakery and dishes tucked in like postcards from the city of light next to recipes more nostalgia around dinnertime for those who know the bakery than instructions. The recipes are heavenly simple but the results always delicious, visually appealing, and outstanding. It is a book I would take into battle and would easily recommend as a wonderful gift for any book or baker.

Having said that, I have to confess to truly bastardizing this recipe because they clearly were dealing with a melon with some flavor. Mine only looked like melons, but tasted like ice. Consequently, this is a technique and not a recipe in earnest as the amounts are dependent on how flavorful and sweet your melons are and your preferences: I like a lot of lime. If you do not, use less but do not omit the citrus: It is the very key to the kingdom. Should lime not appeal, Rose Bakery uses lemon and if you prefer it, I trust you will be just as pleased as I was with lime.

Enjoy this salad with crossiants and fine butter for breakfast or cheese souffle and a bit of French bread at lunch.

Melon, Lime, and Ginger Salad
adapted from Rose Bakery
serves 8

1 honeydew melon, seeded and cut into 1 inch dice
1 cantaloupe melon, seeded and cut into 1 inch dice
1/2 cup superfine sugar, more or less to taste
1 teaspoon ground ginger, more to taste
Juice of two limes, more or less to taste

Now, here is what you do: Put the ingredients in a bowl just as above. Stir gently but thoroughly. Put the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes. Serve.


Vivian said...

Your blog is fabulous!! I recently started to cook a lot more, and I'm always looking for fun recipes, and I can see that you have a great selection. Love it!

a H.I.T. said...

100 percent agree with you. I'm getting sick of listless lettuce and bland bananas.

Laura [What I Like] said...

Oh isn't the state of our fruits and vegetables deplorable! Perhaps a bit of cayenne along with the lime and ginger would have kick started the flavor as well? I adore that cookbook by the way, you have quite excellent taste!

Grace said...

fact: there's nothing worse than paying out the wazoo for fresh melons, only to find that they're mealy or tasteless. i empathize with ya, and i love how you handled the situation--great adaptation!

Scott said...

Ordered my copy of the book today . Thanks for the recommendation.
Chef Scotty -29S

Heather @ what's blooming this week said...

There is nothing worse than biting into a piece of melon or even worse, tomatoe, to discover it's got no flavour.

I must, must get the Rose Bakery book. Is it still in print?

BTW, thanks for visiting my little blog.

liz.blogspot said...

Very nice simple recipe. Thanks.

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

You've got a fabulous blog. Thats a great recipe you've shared and simple to make too. Loved it.