Valley Bounty: Cantaloupe

Local melon season is short and sweet here in the Valley. It seems like almost as soon as local cantaloupe start showing up at farmers’ markets and farm stands, their season is already starting to wind down. And in a year when local stone fruit are mostly missing from the harvest, the opportunity to savor this late summer treat while it’s available seems all the more pressing.

My favorite way to enjoy cantaloupe is simply cut into chunks with some prosciutto, salami, or with just a sprinkle of sea salt. If you’re looking for something a little more refreshing, a cantaloupe granita (sort of like Italian ice) is fairly easy to throw together: just blend cantaloupe, sugar, and a bit of lime juice, then pour the mixture into a baking dish, or another fairly wide open container, and place in the freezer. When it comes time to serve, use a fork or spoon to scrape the surface and scoop the shavings into a cup; try serving with a bit of chopped mint. It can scratch the same itch as ice cream, while still feeling light and summery.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)