I really hesitated to post this recipe because, well, it’s so simple that it’s almost not a recipe at all. And really, the credit for the recipe should go to my friend Sharon, since she gave me the idea of adding lime to honeydew to begin with. But the ten or so ladies who enjoyed it at a baby shower (for Sharon) last weekend urged me emphatically, and they are right – sometimes the best recipes are the simplest, especially when they transform something normal into something interesting and special.
Honeydew is one of those fruits that, in my opinion, is either really good or really bad, and it can be difficult to tell which it will be when you’re buying it. I feel that way about all melons, actually, and tend not to buy them for that very reason. A perfect honeydew is sweet and flavorful but still crisp and not mushy. Apparently there are quite a few popular ways to choose a honeydew, but I usually go for one that smells potently sweet at the stem end.
It took me a little while to figure out how best to cut a melon, too. The photo below shows what I’ve found to be the easiest, quickest and least awkward. First cut the melon in half long-ways. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and then cut each half into quarters, long-ways (this ends up being eighths). Make a slice down the middle of each piece, long-ways again, without cutting through the rind. Make lots of cuts short-ways, again without cutting through the rind. With the piece sitting rind-side down, slice just above the rind to remove the chunks. (Whew – I think the photo does much better justice to the process than the long-winded instructions. I promise it really is easy and fast!)
Honeydew with Lime and Mint
one honeydew melon, yielding 8-10 cups melon pieces
5 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (about two limes or a little less)
4 tsp chopped fresh mint leaves
Cut the honeydew melon into bite-sized chunks. If it’s perfectly ripe or a little over-ripe and dripping juice, let the honeydew drain in a colander or bowl at least 10 minutes and discard the juice. (This step is crucial so you don’t dilute the lime but more importantly so that you don’t end up with two inches of soup in the bottom of your bowl.) Place the honeydew in a large bowl, drizzle in the lime juice and sprinkle on the mint. Mix gently with your hands just until the honeydew is evenly coated (again, trying not to make soup). Serve immediately or, even better, chill for a few hours to let the flavors meld.
This recipe is certainly flexible – use as much lime and mint as you like! This particular honeydew:lime:mint ratio was my favorite and seemed to achieve a good balance of flavors with nothing overpowering the other.