This light, refreshing dessert has just the right hint of spice to give it a little kick. It’s also ideal for fruit that hasn’t yet reached its peak of sweetness. Perfect refreshment for the summer palate!
Makes about ½ cup syrup; Serves 4
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
1 1-inch knob (piece) of fresh peeled ginger, through a garlic press
2 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick, crushed
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh ground szechuan peppercorns
½ tablespoon Cointreau, optional
½ honeydew melon, scooped out with a melon baller
½ cantaloupe melon, scooped out with a melon baller
Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
Combine the water and sugar in a small, heavy bottomed sauce pan. Place over medium heat and add the ginger, cloves, cinnamon stick, cinnamon and ground pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer until the mixture is reduced by about ½ (approximately 15 to 20 minutes). Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Strain the syrup through a sieve into a clean glass container. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Just before using stir in Cointreau.
Arrange the melon balls in chilled bowls. Spoon syrup over each salad. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Recipe and photo by Donna Marie Zotter