Why it works :
Melon is fresh, juicy, but very sweet. That can sometimes make it hard to include in a savory dish. By slicing it into thin pappardelle style slices, we get a very light sweetness, easily counterbalanced by the strong coffee flavour in the sauce.The raspberries act as a reminder of the raspberry vinegar and provide a very soft bite, the seeds bring some crunchiness, and the basil leaves round off the flavors with their green, herbal taste.
What you need :
- One melon (serves four people)
- A handful of basil leaves
- 2tbsp almond butter
- One espresso shot
- 3tbsp raspberry vinegar
- A handful of raspberries
- A handful of squash seeds
How it works :
Start by thinly slicing the melon : you have to peel it with a knife without cutting it into quarters first. Then either use a peeler or a mandoline slicer to get those thin desirable pappardelle. Yes, melon suddenly sounds very lustful. Oh well.
In a small blender or with a spoon and bowl mix the sauce ingredients : almond butter, raspberry vinegar, and coffee. As you should always do, taste and adjust to your taste : do you need to add salt, do you prefer a stronger coffee taste, more fruity ? Feel free to make this yours.
Toast the seeds in a pan over medium heat, tossing them every minute or so to make sure they don’t burn. When they start to pop wait another 30 seconds before you remove them from the fire and transfer to a bowl to cool them off quickly.
Pick the most beautiful basil leaves and brush them with a bit of olive oil to make them glisten and delicious ! Cut the raspberries in half.
To assemble, I suggest you place some sauce on the bottom of the plate, it is the star of this dish so you want it to shine through, dip then layer your slices of melon on top, sprinkling the basil, raspberries and seeds on top. It is a great summer side or starter all on its own.
As a variation you could serve this as a salad : either by filling a big salad bowl with the melon noodles, or cutting it in small chunks for less work, slice the basil, and pour the sauce over. To make it more filling, you could also try adding a whole grain like spelt, or try it over rice noodles !