Melon with lime and chile

Warm summer days need cool, refreshing snacks, and this one hits the spot: sweet melon wedges with a little lime juice, salt, and just a hint of spice. I used to think cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelons were the only available melon options, but now, thanks to my local farmers’ market, I’ve learned about new varieties, like Charentais, Piel de Sapo, Crenshaw, and many others. Each of these melons is surprisingly distinct and delicious. Happy Boy Farms has some interesting information on some of these varieties, including how to pick the ripest ones. I made this recipe using the Crenshaw. In the recipe and photo you may notice an additional cut along the rind – I saw this done at a restaurant and thought it was a useful way to serve the melon wedges, especially for a dinner party. Freeing most of the melon from the rind makes it very easy to eat (read: less melon juice dripping off your chin, which, I must admit, is not a bad thing at all).

Servings: 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1 large, ripe melon (ask the person selling the melons how to find the ripest one)
  • 1-2 limes (buy ones with a thin-appearing skin – these are the juiciest)
  • A few pinches of chile powder (try cayenne, ancho, pasilla, or any chile powder blend), to taste
  • A few pinches of coarse salt

Directions

If time permits, place the whole melon in the refrigerator for a couple hours ahead of time to chill. Once cold, use a longer knife to cut melon in half lengthwise through the stem and root ends. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each melon half into eight long wedges. Next, run a smaller knife along the length of each wedge, separating the melon flesh from the rind, leaving about a quarter-inch of rind and stopping about an inch or two before reaching the other end. Arrange the wedges on a serving platter and douse with a few good squeezes of lime juice. Rolling the limes with a little force on the cutting board before halving will give you more juice.  Sprinkle lightly with chile powder and salt and serve.  

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • (For 8 servings)
  • Calories: 35
  • Total Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 55 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 9 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1 g
  • Sugars: 8 g
  • Protein: 1 g

Contributor

Benjamin Maring, MD