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Beat the heat with sweet summer melons

Beat the heat with sweet summer melons

During Virginia’s hot summer months, melons abound. Grab a piece of ripe, juicy melon and enjoy it al fresco, or use it in one of these mouth-watering recipes. The watermelon recipes are from the National Watermelon Promotion Board. And the sweet cantaloupe recipe comes from the Eastern Cantaloupe Growers Association.

Sweet and Sour Watermelon Salad

½ cup cider vinegar
1 cup water
½ cup sugar, or to taste
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
salt and pepper, to taste
bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
3 cups seedless watermelon balls or small chunks
2 English cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into small slices

In a bowl, mix together the vinegar, water, sugar and poppy seeds, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped scallions. Place the watermelon and cucumber in a serving bowl, and pour the dressing over the top. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate a couple of hours. Toss gently before serving.

Savory Watermelon Pizza

watermelon round, cut 1” thick (for crust)
goat cheese
greens of choice, such as arugula
balsamic vinegar
pepper, to taste

Cut a 1-inch round slice of a watermelon. Spread goat cheese over the fleshy part of the melon. Sprinkle the entire surface with greens, top with prosciutto, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar and pepper, to taste. Cut into wedges before serving.

Cantaloupe Sherbet

1 large ripe cantaloupe, peeled and finely chopped (about 5 cups)
1/3 cup calorie-free sweetener
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
¼ cup cold water
8-ounce carton vanilla fat-free yogurt
cantaloupe wedges for garnish

In a blender or food processor, combine cantaloupe, sweetener and lemon juice; pulse until smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl.

In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute. Cook over low heat, stirring until gelatin dissolves, about 4 minutes. Add to cantaloupe mixture, stirring well. Add yogurt and stir until smooth.

Pour mixture into an 8-inch square pan; freeze until almost firm. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Spoon mixture back into pan; freeze until firm.

Scoop into five individual serving dishes. Garnish each with a cantaloupe wedge if desired.