Spiced melon is a cross-cultural gem, I've seen it in plastic bags on street carts in Mexico, and read Italian recipes that place the spiced melon on a bed of greens such as arugula. Many Asian countries fire up their fruit with sliced chilies, or spice powders. This is my own recipe, created out of necessity when I was requested to bring something from my near empty fridge to a to a martini party (a Spicy Melon Martini recipe is currently in progress). My recipe calls for Sambal Oelek, because I consider it a pantry basic. A homemade ground chili paste would do quite nicely, particularly if a little roast garlic is added into the paste. Or, simply added some finely minced green, red or orange chili. Looking for a lot of heat? Just add some minced scotch bonnet pepper. The beauty about using Sambal Oelek is that the heat is moderate when mixed with sugar and lime, and it holds a host of other subtle flavours. Spicy melon is an appetizer unto itself, served up with toothpicks in a nice party-ready bowl. This dish has a good amount of surprise factor, the pale orange chunks coated in vivid red meet all the right heat/sweet expectations, and nicely contrast the other appetizers such as cheese or dips.
- 750 millilitres fresh melons (cut into chunks, any kind - I like cataloupe)
- 2 tablespoons ground chilli paste (such as Sambai Oelek)
- juice and zest of 1 small lime
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint (more for garnish if required)
Spicy Melon is a community recipe submitted by DianaAdams and has not been tested by Nigella.com so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe.
Slice the melon into half-inch chunks
Combine all ingredients (except the garnish) in a bowl.
Chill the melon to 15 - 20 minutes, garnish before serving