Thursday, June 18, 2009

160. Honeydew (and Canteloupe) in Rosemary Syrup (p. 806)

When I think about rosemary, I usually think of chicken. And Simon and Garfunkle. But mostly chicken. Before I made this recipe, I would never have thought of pairing melon with rosemary and peppercorns.

This is probably one of the simplest of The Book's fruit dessert recipes. First, I made the rosemary syrup. I mixed some white wine, water, sugar, orange zest, fresh rosemary leaves and black peppercorns in a small saucepan. I brought it to a boil and cooked it for a few minutes. I strained it into a bowl (discarding the solids) and put it in the refrigerator to chill.

Meanwhile, using a melon baller, I cut melon balls from a honeydew and a cantaloupe. It's hard to make perfect-looking melon balls without wasting a lot of melon. So, a lot of the melon balls were somewhat misshapen. Oh, well.

When the syrup was chilled, I stirred some freshly-squeezed orange juice into it and combined the syrup with the melon.

I served the melon balls in small bowls garnished with little sprigs of rosemary. This dessert was a real surprise. I didn't quite know what to expect from mixing sweet melon with seasonings usually associated with savory foods (rosemary and black pepper). The fragrance of the rosemary was wonderful. The flavor was subtle and pleasant. The hint of rosemary and the barely noticeable bite of pepper nicely highlighted the melon. The syrup was light and not too sweet.

A nice, simple dessert for a sophisticated but healthy meal.

Date Cooked: May 30, 2009
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Rating: A-

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