It must be cantaloupe season because at the start of this weekend I had four almost overly ripe cantaloupes sitting in our fruit bowl from our CSA box. I try to come up with creative ways to use up our CSA ingredients (in the fall we receive a ton of root veggies from the local farmers, in the winter a crazy amount of delicious greens…) and when I started to think up cantaloupe uses I fell short at fruit salad. Two cantaloupes of fruit salad later and it was time to try something new.
A while back Kevin and I were trying out a new restaurant when the chef offered a cantaloupe and basil ‘palette cleanser’ between two courses. It was delicious. There’s something about the balance of sweet, juicy cantaloupe and tart (almost bitter) leafy basil that tastes so fresh and yummy.
And so the cantaloupe + basil summer blend was born.
One whole sweet cantaloupe serves as the base…
And a scoop of applesauce plus juice helps to balance out the bitterness of the basil.
One cantaloupe will make 4-5 blenders worth of juice.
You don’t have to use applesauce, any sweeter fruit would be delicious (peaches, apples, kiwi) and to add a little sparkly kick to the blend since I was bringing this to a baby shower rather than making for Liv at home, I used an Italian Blood Orange Soda from Trader Joes that we had on hand instead of regular juice. You could make it an alcoholic cocktail as well – yum.
To keep the leafy basil from being too chunky, I poured out the majority of the cantaloupe juice mixture until I had about a cup, and then I blended this smaller portion with a handful of leaves.
I stirred that into the cantaloupe juice for the final sweet summer blend!
The blender – and I’m not talking the traditional smoothie here – is a great solution to any excess melon (or fruit) this summer. Yum.
PS More good eats recipes found right here.