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Market Matters- Persian Melon Feta Salad with Mint & Pine Nuts

Persian Melon

Today’s selection for my Market Matters post from the Hollywood Farmers Market is another melon. What can I say? They are so seasonal and there is nothing better than a perfectly ripe melon.

This time I have chosen a Persian melon, also known as Patelquat. Which is a large greenish muskmelon with delicate netting on the rind and a rich salmon-colored flesh. It looks a bit like a larger more oval shaped cantaloupe, though it is usually much more fragrant. Persian melons are bigger than a cantaloupe too. They typically weigh around 5 pounds. Naturally they have a delicious, sweet flavor. I think they taste like a much more intense cantaloupe. In Southern California they’re available from July through October, with a peak in the late summer.

As with all melons choose Persian melons that are heavy for their size, and very fragrant. They should be firm with a small amount of softness at the stem end. The rind should be the palest of green with netting that is slightly brown when ripe. If the background is very green the melon is not yet ripe. Persians are best vine ripened, but if you mistakenly get a green one let it sit on the counter at room temperature for a few days. Ripe melons should be refrigerated and will keep as long as two weeks if uncut.