GINNA PARSONS: Recipes highlight fresh produce

As much as I enjoyed spending hours working in the yard a couple of weeks ago, I must say this past rainy weekend was a good excuse to curl up with some magazines I’ve been meaning to read.
I spent most of Sunday poring over the April issues of Southern Living and Cooking Light and trying to gather some new recipes to try as we ready for fresh produce at the farmers’ markets (Tupelo’s opens Saturday).
In Cooking Light, I found several recipes I want to try, including one for a garden harvest bread, which incorporates apples, carrots, zucchini, cinnamon and walnuts, as well as a black-eyed pea salad that combines fresh tomatoes, onions and cilantro with a tangy dressing.
The one I’ll try first, though, is this Melon Salad with Cantaloupe Vinaigrette. Everyone in my family likes both cantaloupe and honeydew, so this should go over well. However, I will probably make a couple of changes to the original recipe.
First, arugula by itself can be pretty bitter so I’ll probably substitute 12 cups of mixed salad greens. Second, I’ll likely leave the prosciutto off my children’s salads because of its strong flavor (and because daughter Mary doesn’t eat pork).
Look for the rice vinegar in the section of your grocery store where Asian foods are sold.
Melon Salad with
Cantaloupe Vinaigrette
1 cup cubed cantaloupe
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 cups arugula leaves
1 medium honeydew melon, peeled, seeded and cut into 24 slices
1 medium cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cut into 24 slices
8 very thin slices prosciutto (about 4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine cantaloupe, vinegar, oil, sugar and salt in a food processor and process until smooth.
Place 11/2 cups arugula on each of 8 salad plates. Top each serving with 3 honeydew slices, 3 cantaloupe slices and 1 prosciutto slice. Drizzle each serving with about 1 tablespoon dressing. Sprinkle evenly with pepper.
Makes 8 servings.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.


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