Summer Salads Some Aren’t- Melon with Lemon Verbena Blackberry Sauce & Pistachios

Melon Salad with Blackberry Sauce & Pistachios.

Is that really a salad? Well I wittily titled this series “Summer Salads and Some Aren’t”. Get it? Some are some are not! That’s clever writing, huh?

But clever writing or not I still think it’s a salad. In fact I’d call it a breakfast salad. Perhaps a new culinary category– but delicious nonetheless. Hey! This could even be a dessert salad…

Melon Salad

Okay, so now we have determined that this is indeed a salad. But not all salads need a vinaigrette. Some salads are sauced. In the case of this melon and blackberry salad the dressing is simply blackberries with some lemon juice and a bit of sugar. I infused the sauce with some fresh lemon verbena leaves as well. I think the herbal quality makes this sauce more suited to a sophisticated salad than a banana split sundae.

You could use any melon you like in this salad. You could even mix your melons (now I’m blushing). I chose galia, a green fleshed musk melon that is super sweet this time of year. I made mine into perfectly shaped little melon balls (blushing again) but slices or chunks taste just as delicious.

Crunch is a texture all salads need in some measure. I made that point yesterday when I introduced this week long series of Summer Salads. I also explained exactly what a salad was in my mind. This salad gets its crunch from pistachios. Besides the green color works so well with the melon flesh (now you’re blushing).

Melon with Lemon Verbena Blackberry Sauce & Pistachios serves 4 CLICK here for a printable recipe 

  • 1 c blackberries
  • 2 T granulated sugar
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 6 leaves lemon verbena
  • 1 (31/4 to 3 1/2 lb) galia melon, or similar
  • 1/4 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped

Set 1/4 cup of the blackberries aside as garnish. Add the rest to a blender with the sugar and lemon juice. Process until smooth. Adjust the consistency slightly with water if necessary. Press the pulp through a fine meshed strainer into a small saucepan. Discard solids. Again adjust consistency if necessary.

Add the lemon verbena to the blackberry sauce, and gently heat without boiling about 4 minutes. Let the sauce cool completely, then remove the lemon verbena leaves. Divide the sauce between 4 serving bowls.

Halve the melon crosswise and remove seeds. Scoop the flesh using a melon baller into uniform balls. Arrange the melon on top of the sauce in each bowl, top with reserved blackberries and pistachios.


Greg Henry

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