Cantaloupe



Quick Facts

Type: Fruit
Variety:
Availability: Mid-July
Size:
Quantity sold in: lb.
Flavor: Sweet and aromatic
Use: Best eaten fresh
Grown in: Field
Grown by: Graduate Student Research
Processing: Sanitized



Storage and Preparation

Short Term Storage: Cantaloupes can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 days.  They will not continue to develop sugar or get any sweeter but they will get softer and become more juicy.  Once ripe, the melons can be stored in the refrigerator but should be consumed within 2 days.
Long Term Storage: Cantaloupes can be frozen but will not retain their texture when thawed.  They will have a much softer texture.  Cantaloupe pieces can be eaten slightly frozen for cool refreshing treat.
More information from ISU extension on:

Storage

Preparation: Cantaloupes should be washed thoroughly with cold running water before being cut or used.  Once cut, cantaloupe should be covered with plastic or stored in a container with a lid and refrigerated.  Cut cantaloupe should be used within 2 days.



Pairings and Nutrition

Pairings: Cantaloupe is sweet, juicy, and flavorful.  It goes well with almost all other fruits or on top of leafy greens in a salad.  Cantaloupe is delicious to eat fresh as a snack or side to a meal.
Nutrition: Adults should consume 1.5-2 cups of fruit total per day according to the USDA  MyPlate recommendations.  Cantaloupe is rich in vitamin C and potassium.  Cantaloupe also has a high water content.



Cantaloupe Recipes


Melon Orange-Blossom Gelato
Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp. orange blossom water
  • ½ tsp. orange zest
  • 1 medium melon (approx. 1 ¼ lbs), seeded and cut into small cubes
  • 1 squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Place cream and milk in a saucepan. Add salt, sugar, honey, orange blossom water, and orange zest. Bring mixture up to a boil. Once it starts boiling, turn off heat, cover, and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Place cut melon and a squeeze of lemon juice in a blender and blend on high for a few minutes until completely pureed. Strain cream mixture into a container, add melon puree, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
  3. Process ice cream in an ice cream maker per instructions.
  4. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, place chilled mixture in a baking dish and place in the freezer. After 40 minutes, take it out and stir it up with a whisk, or (best) a hand-mixture to incorporate air until a uniform texture is achieved. Place back in the freezer and repeat every 30 minutes. After about 2 ½ to 3 hours, the ice cream should be ready.

Prosciutto and Melon Pasta Salad
Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta (Bow tie or sprial)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • 3/4 cup diced cantaloupe
  • 1/4 cup thinly vertically sliced shallots
  • 2 Tbsp. torn mint leaves
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 2-inch-long strips
  • 1 ounce shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; cool to room temperature.
  2. Combine lemon juice and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor; process to blend. With processor on, slowly pour olive oil through food chute; process for 15 seconds or until blended.
  3. Combine cooled pasta, arugula, cantaloupe, shallots, mint, and prosciutto in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over salad just before serving and toss gently to coat. Top salad with cheese.

Cantaloupe Salsa
Ingredients:

  • ½ cantaloupe (large, ripe)
  • ¾ cup red bell pepper, finely diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. scallions, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Pinch of salt and hot pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Remove seeds and rind from cantaloupe. (You should have approximately ½ pound cantaloupe flesh) Chop cantaloupe into very small dice. Put in bowl.
  2. Add diced red pepper, cilantro, scallions and lime juice. Stir.
  3. Add pinch of salt and pepper flakes. Chill.
  4. Serve with grilled chicken, fish or steaks.