Orange Blossom Cantaloupe With Floral Cream

orange-blossom-cantaloupe-floral-cream
Photo by Sarah Karnasiewicz
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  • Makes about 12 servings
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Here, juicy summer cantaloupe goes floral, with orange flower water sprinkled first on the fruit itself and then stirred into a lightly sweetened yogurt ricotta sauce. A smattering of rose petals, mint leaves, and cardamom complete the heady, Middle Eastern vibe. If you don’t have a fragrant, full-flavored melon, put this recipe off until you do.

Ingredients

  1. Check 1 medium cantaloupe
  2. Check ½ teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon orange flower water, divided
  3. Check ½ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  4. Check ½ cup full-fat ricotta cheese
  5. Check 2 tablespoons milk, or a touch more, preferably whole
  6. Check 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
  7. Check Dried rose petals, fresh or dried mint leaves, and a pinch cardamom, for garnish

Directions

  1. Rinse the cantaloupe and pat dry. Slice off the stem ends, exposing the flesh. Perch on a flat end. Holding a large knife at an angle, sweep down the sides of the melon, removing the peel and any green veins. Halve top to bottom, scrape out all the seeds, and slice thinly crosswise. Arrange the slices decoratively on a large platter. Dribble with ½ teaspoon of orange flower water (or a bit more, if you like – but go easy as it’s potent).
  2. Make the floral cream: In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt, ricotta, milk, sugar, and the remaining tablespoon orange flower water until very smooth. Taste, adding additional sugar or orange flower water, if desired. Thin with a bit more milk, if necessary, so the floral cream falls thickly but easily from a spoon.
  3. Combine and serve. Pour the cream over the melon. Garnish with a large pinch each of dried rose petals (if using), mint leaves, and cardamom, rubbing the rose and mint between your thumb and forefinger to release their oils as you sprinkle. Serve immediately.


Tip: To make ahead, prep the cantaloupe and make the floral cream as indicated. Chill, separately and covered, for up to 6 hours, until ready to serve. Just before serving, stir the floral cream, adding additional milk to thin, if necessary.

Excerpted from Yogurt Culture, © 2015 by Cheryl Sternman Rule. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.