The juicy cantaloupe, or muskmelon, does more than just round out a fruit salad. An excellent source of vitamins A and C,
this summer fruit complements savory ingredients and herbs as well.
Season: May through September.
How to Choose Cantaloupe
The best way to pick a cantaloupe is by smell. The fruit should have a sweet, fruity scent. A good cantaloupe feels heavy for its size and has a rind with thick, raised netting and a stem end that yields slightly when pressed.
How to Store Cantaloupe
Let a not-quite-ready cantaloupe ripen at room temperature for up to 2 days (keeping it in a closed paper bag will speed up the process). Refrigerate a whole ripe melon for up to 5 days. For cut cantaloupe, cover the surfaces and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (If possible, leave the seeds intact. They prevent the flesh from drying out.)
How to Prepare Cantaloupe
Wash the rind, then slice off the bottom and top ends of the melon so that it sits squarely on a cutting board. With a knife, cut away strips of the rind from top to bottom, following the shape of the fruit. Halve the fruit, scoop out the seeds, and slice or cube as desired.
How to Use Cantaloupe
A cantaloupe at its peak is delicious on its own, cubed in salads, or pureed into a soup or a smoothie. Its sweetness pairs well with salty meats, like prosciutto, and fresh herbs, like mint or rosemary.
Real Simple Cantaloupe Recipes:
- Tomato and Cantaloupe Salad
- Cantaloupe Soup with Prosciutto Sandwiches
- Cantaloupe Parfait With Salted Pistachios
- Chilled Cantaloupe Soup
- Tomato, Cantaloupe, and Mint Salad
Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.
Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.