“Summer days, and the livin’ is easy!” says the song. But the I say, summer days and it’s hot!!!
It’s mid august and it still is hot!
Nothing more refreshing than this delicious melon trio salad of grilled watermelon, grilled yellow and green honeydew melons, known here as “Melon France”, with fresh baby basil leaves, baby arugula, feta cheese and balsamic pineapple vinaigrette.
I always wondered where the name could have come from. Like so many other things in Haiti, certain items take a name that is in the end so simplistically logical. All diapers are Pampers, all cereals are Corn Flakes and all fridges are Frigidaire :)
Well Melon France is probably no different. Turns out that according to this Wikipedia page “”Honeydew” is in fact the American name for the White Antibes cultivar which has been grown for many years in southern France.” Thus, the french origin of this melon is probably behind the name locals give it by calling it “Melon France” as the seeds were brought over from France.
Enough about honeydew melon though, because what I really wanted to talk about was watermelon. :O)
Why? you ask.
Well because, I have been inspired for this recipe by a young haitian entrepreneur named Jean-Claude Paul, who has taken a leap of faith and invested in none other but agriculture here in Haiti. I say a leap of faith, because very little investment and entrepreneurship is targeted towards agriculture, which is a true pity. Little by little, his company’s products are getting the success they deserve and making their way into our supermarket isles, street market carts, and into our homes.
It is refreshing to see Haitians consume Haitian! And Société Agricole Nationale’s watermelons are a real treat!
Juicy and sweet, these watermelons are exquisite, and it is as a tribute to so much effort put into such a deprived sector of activity, that I decided to make a recipe with their watermelons.
So wherever you are in the world, try this one out, and if you are in Haiti, buy Haitian!
Make sure you bite into these succulent grilled red pieces of watermelons with joy, and may every bite of this salad bring you happiness!
Ingredients for 6-8
8 thin slices of Yellow Honeydew Melon 8 thin slices of Honeydew melon (aka here Melon France) 16 half inch triangles of watermelon 1 cup of crumbled Feta cheese 1 cup roquette (baby arugula) 1/2 white onion thinly sliced and cut in to halves 1/2 cup baby basil leaves
Cut your honeydew melons into quarter inch slices. You want your melon to be ripe but firm, to hold well on the grill.
Remove the skin from the honeydew slices.
Cut your watermelon into half inch thick triangles.
Keep the skin on the watermelon, it will help the triangles whole.
Place them on your hot grill on the BBQ.
Let them grill for about 5 minutes on one side and 3 minutes on the other side to get some light grill marks.
While grilling, wash your baby arugula and baby basil leaves, and cut your onions thinly.
Prep your vinaigrette.
For the vinaigrette
1 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 garlic clove pressed 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup sweetened pineapple juice 1 tablespoon honey Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk the olive oil with a fork with your garlic and honey to dissolve.
Slowly add in the balsamic vinegar while continuing to whisk. This will help make a thick nice emulsion of your vinaigrette.
Then add in your pineapple juice following the same process, not to lose your emulsion. Whisk, whisk, whisk !
Add some salt and pepper to taste.
Drizzle on top of your salad, which you will have prepped by lining in a plate as wildly as possible your arugula, grilled melon slices, topped with more arugula, baby basil leaves, thinly sliced onions and crumbled feta cheese.