During the summer it often seems watermelons get all the attention (after all, they're a mainstay at summer parties), but don't forget about all those other melons. Think of sunny cantaloupe and neon green honeydew or those funny football-shaped Canary melons. Melons come in all types, shapes and sizes, but beyond eating a slice on your backyard patio, there are many things you can do with them. If honeydew sorbet, cantaloupe pops, melon and prosciutto salad or honeydew salsa sound good to you, then see our slideshow below.
When shopping for melons, there a few things to keep in mind. Everyone has their own ritual for picking melons, but there are three basic steps you can take to check a melon's ripeness. First, choose a melon that is richly colored (a ripe cantaloupe will be have an orange blush and a ripe honeydew will be yellowish). Next press the stem end with your thumb -- if it gives a little, it's ripe. And lastly, give it a whiff -- a ripe melon will have a wonderful fragrance.
Grilled Scallops With Honeydew-Avocado Salsa
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/grilled-scallops-with-hon_n_1058464.html" target="_hplink">Grilled Scallops with Honeydew-Avocado Salsa recipe</a></strong> Pair simply grilled scallops with this fruit salsa made of diced honeydew and avocado. The fruitiness complements the sweet flavor of the sea scallops.
Cantaloupe And Campari Pops
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/05/cantaloupe--campari-pops_n_1571138.html" target="_hplink">Cantaloupe and Campari Pops recipe</a></strong> Campari, an Italian bitters, adds a unique herbal flavor to this recipe for cantaloupe pops. Enjoy the refreshing and boozy dessert on a hot day.
Green Melon, Cubanelle Peppers And Ricotta Salata
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/23/green-melon-cubanelle-pe_n_1540385.html" target="_hplink">Green Melon, Cubanelle Peppers and Ricotta Salata recipe</a></strong> This refreshing salad combines thin slices of honeydew, crisp Cubanelle peppers, salty ricota salata and pungent basil. It makes a nice appetizer instead of the typical watermelon salad.
Chilled Avocado And Yogurt Soup With Melon
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/chilled-avocado-and-yogur_n_1057614.html" target="_hplink">Chilled Avocado and Yogurt Soup With Melon recipe</a></strong> This creamy chilled avocado soup is rich in nutrients and flavor. Top the soup with balls of cantaloupe, basil and pine nuts for an elegant flair.
Melon, Tomato And Onion Salad
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/melon-tomato--onion-sal_n_1061973.html" target="_hplink">Melon, Tomato and Onion Salad recipe</a></strong> Try a new summer salad instead of the usual tomato and mozzarella. Here layers of honeydew, tomato, cucumber and onion are topped with salty feta to create a pleasing appetizer or side dish.
Indiana Melon Sorbet
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/indiana-melon-sorbet_n_1061321.html" target="_hplink">Indiana Melon Sorbet recipe</a></strong> This honeydew melon sorbet starts with a simple syrup infused with herbs. Try basil, mint or thyme for a unique palate-cleansing flavor.
Salmon With Cantaloupe And Fried Shallots
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/salmon-with-cantaloupe-an_n_1058659.html" target="_hplink">Salmon and Cantaloupe and Fried Shallots recipe</a></strong> In this recipe, tiny balls of cantaloupe tossed in a buttermilk dressing turn into a bed for seared salmon. The fruity tangy flavors strike a balanced counterpoint for the richly flavored salmon.
Melon And Peach Salad
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/melon-and-peach-salad-wit_n_1058548.html" target="_hplink">Melon and Peach Salad recipe</a></strong> Melon and ham are a favorite appetizer pairing in the Mediterranean region. This recipe also includes peaches, fresh mozzarella and herbs to create a refreshing savory dish.
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/melon-panzanella_n_1061985.html" target="_hplink">Melon Panzanella recipe</a></strong> The classic Italian bread salad uses tomatoes, but this version replaces them with melon for a more unique take. It also adds peppery arugula and crispy prosciutto for a different touch.
Melon And Apple Granita
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/melon--apple-granita_n_1056205.html" target="_hplink">Melon and Apple Granita recipe</a></strong> Cantaloupe lends a pretty orange color to this granita. You could also make the recipe with any melon you prefer. Instead of sugar, use apple juice as the sweetener.
Summer Salad Of Melon, Feta And Shrimp
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/summer-salad-of-melon-fe_n_1058181.html" target="_hplink">Summer Salad of Melon, Feta and Shrimp recipe</a></strong> A summer trio of melons (honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon) studs this elegant salad. Add tangy feta cheese and tender poached shrimp to make this an entree salad that's perfect for lunch or dinner.
Sausages With Tomato Relish And Melon Salsa
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/sausages-with-tomato-reli_n_1057548.html" target="_hplink">Sausages with Tomato Relish and Melon Salsa recipe</a></strong> Serve a refreshing melon salsa alongside these sausage sandwiches, which are spread with a grilled tomato relish. Green chile adds a bit of heat to the melon salsa, creating a unique side dish.
Thai-Style Melon And Beef Salad
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/thai-style-melon--beef-s_n_1061978.html" target="_hplink">Thai-Style Melon and Beef Salad recipe</a></strong> This entree salad features grilled steak on a bead of greens and thinly sliced melon. Thai ingredients and condiments combine to create the flavorful dressing.
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/white-sangria_n_1061558.html" target="_hplink">White Sangria recipe</a></strong> Spanish sangrias are typically made with red wine, but this version features white wine and summery fruit. Use a combination of melons like cantaloupe and honeydew.
Grilled Shrimp With Melon And Pineapple Salsa
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/grilled-shrimp-with-melon_n_1061995.html" target="_hplink">Grilled Shrimp with Melon and Pineapple Salsa recipe</a></strong> A fresh melon and pineapple salsa makes a sweet foil for grilled shrimp. Use your favorite combination of melons in the recipe.
WATCH: Melon And Prosciutto
Ina Garten shows you how easy it is to make a melon and prosciutto appetizer.