Chameh Melon with Honey Vinegar, Chili Salt, and Lemon Verbena by Danny Newberg
The trick to this recipe is all in the season. It works best in the summer when the melons are perfectly sweet and crunchy. You can use dried lemon verbena, but fresh leaves are so much more aromatic and sweet. This dish can go great as a snack on a hot day, or eaten with spicy grilled chicken, also a great light summer dessert.
- 1 Ripe Chameh Melon
- 1/4 Cup honey
- 1/4 Cup rose vinegar
- 1/4 Rresh lime juice
- 1/2 Diced Mexican chilis
- 1/2 Cup kosher sale
- 1 Bunch lemon verbena
- Whisk together honey, vinegar, and lime juice. Taste and check for light sweetness and bright acidity. Set aside.
- Toast chilies lightly in a pan till they become fragrant. I like to use “chile de arbol”, a spicy Mexican variety, but you can use something smokier or less spicy if you prefer.
- Once your chiles are toasted, grind them by hand in a mortar and pestle with equal amounts salt to chili until there are no big chunks of chili. If you don’t have a mortar you can do this in a food processor. Set aside.
- Peel your melon back. You don’t want any of the skin. Cut the melon in rounds or spheres, whatever you prefer. I like to eat this dish with my finger, not a fork, so really cut the melon however you like.
- Leave in all seeds. This is a unique melon where the seeds are edible and the sweetest part of the fruit.
- Drizzle on the honey vinegar evenly and be generous with it. Sprinkle on some chili salt, more if it’s a appetizer and less if it’s for dessert.
- Thinly slice the lemon verbena and sprinkle over the top.