May is the time to make melons a must-have on your menu! May thru September, melons are in peak season, providing a juicy and diverse fruit to enjoy all summer long. While all melons have soft, juicy fruit with a sweet fragrant flavor, their appearance varies widely. Watermelons are part of the gourd family. Rinds range from bright to deep green and they have a crunchy, reddish-pink interior. Honeydew and cantaloupe are known as muskmelons. While honeydew has a smooth, pale green rind and honey-flavored fruit, a cantaloupe has a more fibrous rind with light orange fruit.
The secret to picking a perfect melon is in the weight and smell. A juicy, ripe melon will feel heavy and firm. Ripe melons should have an intense musky aroma near the stem.
Biting into a juicy melon can be a refreshing experience and packs a punch of nutrition! Melons are about 90% water, which makes them a summer staple to help prevent dehydration. Melons also contain vitamins A and C, which help support our immune system.
While melons are often enjoyed sliced for a meal or snack, they are incredibly versatile in the kitchen. Melons can be cut up and used in salsas or to infuse water. Throw watermelon slices on the grill for a unique spin on this sweet fruit. Don’t throw out the rind! Save watermelon rinds to make tasty pickles for your next barbeque. Melons also lend well to salads, like this refreshing melon salad recipe:
Mixed Melon, Cucumber and Feta Salad
Serves 6 (2/3 cup each)
All you need:
½ cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Hy-Vee honey
1 shallot, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, plus additional for garnish
½ small cantaloupe, seeded, peeled and sliced
2 cups Hy-Vee Short Cuts watermelon
5 mini cucumbers, cut into ribbons
1 (8-oz) pkg Soirée traditional feta chunk cheese, cubed
Pink or black peppercorns, crushed, for garnish
All you do:
Recipe source: May 2022 Hy-Vee Seasons magazine