06/22/2015 07:38 am ET | Updated Jun 22, 2015

7 Refreshing Things You Can Make With Melon

Watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe star in these spectacular (and easy!) recipes for appetizers, side dishes, soups and more.

By Lynn Andriani

  • A Reinvention Of Cold Pizza
    Oliver Barth
    If you've ever looked at a wedge of watermelon and thought it looked like a pizza slice, chef Julie Morris is right there with you. In her new book, Superfood Snacks, she turns inch-thick rounds of the melon into pies, and decorates them with toppings such as chopped macadamia nuts, halved blueberries, thin slices of kiwi and minced mint leaves (though you can use anything from shaved fennel to black pepper and sea salt). She cuts the "pizza" into wedges and serves it chilled for one of the most fun (and healthy) twists on the beloved favorite that we've ever seen.

    Get the recipe: Watermelon Pizza
  • The Salty-Sweet Salad
    Gentl & Hyers
    The classic pairing of melon and prosciutto anchors this salad, which also includes crisp, peppery watercress and curls of Parmesan. With all of the robust flavors, you don't need a complicated dressing; this one just combines olive oil and lemon juice with a touch of ground fennel, which accentuates the salad's sweet and salty combo.

    Get the recipe: Watermelon and Watercress Salad
  • The "Who Knew?" Way To Eat Watermelon
    Gentl & Hyers
    Baked apples and roasted apricots are familiar cooked fruits -- but grilled melon is one we hadn't tried until now. Dusted with sugar, watermelon wedges acquire a caramelized crust on the grill but stay cool and juicy inside. They're the perfect counterpoint to hot-and-spicy grilled shrimp.

    Get the recipe: Spicy Skewered Shrimp with Grilled Watermelon
  • A Frozen Treat With A Big Nostalgia Factor
    Gentl & Hyers
    You've never had Creamsicle pops like these. In addition to orange juice and cream, these include an entire pureed cantaloupe. The fruit has a mildly sweet taste, so rather than turning the pops into sugar bombs, the cantaloupe actually lends more of an earthy, gentle fruitiness.

    Get the recipe: Cantaloupe and Citrus Pops
  • The Pasta-Like Way To Make A Seasonal Fruit Salad
    Gentl & Hyers
    Here's a low-maintenance way to get in on the Spiralizer trend: Using a vegetable peeler, you peel the flesh of a cantaloupe and that of a honeydew into strips, so you end up with paper-thin, pappardelle-like ribbons. Dress them with a combination of honey, lemon juice and mint, and enjoy with brunch, or with grilled meat or fish for lunch or dinner.

    Get the recipe: Mixed-Melon Pappardelle with Mint
  • The Ice-Cube Replacements
    Gentl & Hyers
    This refreshing drink consists of a mixture of watermelon juice and vodka, which is tasty enough on its own. But what makes it really special is the garnish: three or four balls of cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon that you've soaked in vodka. Prepare them at least two hours ahead of serving, so the liquor amply seeps in to the fruit.

    Get the recipe: Melon High-Baller
  • The Summer Soup That's Not Gazpacho
    Gentl & Hyers
    It doesn't get much simpler (or more seasonal) than this four-ingredient chilled bowl. All it takes are chunks of honeydew and cucumber (which are distantly related, from a botany perspective) pureed with coconut milk in a blender; refrigerate the blend until it's cold and top with toasted, shaved coconut for an easy, mellow starter to any meal.

    Get the recipe: Chilled Melon, Cucumber and Coconut Milk Soup

  • The Garden Celebration On A Platter
    Lynn Andriani
    If we had to pick the most-loved summer vegetables, they'd probably be the ones that chef Katie Hagan-Whelchel of Ad Hoc (one of Thomas Keller's restaurants in Yountville, CA), packs into this stunning yet simple salad. She layers tomato slices, peeled cucumber slices and grilled corn kernels that have all been seasoned liberally with olive oil, salt and pepper on a big plate, and scatters sliced red onion and basil leaves on top. Be sure to make it ahead of time for the best flavor.

    Get the recipe: Tomato Salad
  • The Totally Weird And Delicious Way to Eat Warm (Yes, Warm) Watermelon
    Jim Franco
    We had never considered eating watermelon at any temperature other than ice cold until we tried this untraditional salad; now, we're hooked. You puree the melon into a juice, and then warm it in a saucepan with onion, olive oil and vinegar. As it simmers, it thickens slightly and turns into a delightful dressing for chunks of (cold) watermelon piled with arugula, almonds and sliced scallions.

    Get the recipe: Watermelon, Arugula and Toasted Almond Salad
  • A Beloved Green-Bean Dish With A Seasonal Makeover
    Lucy Schaeffer
    This bright and fresh-tasting side takes the best elements of a classic green-bean casserole and gives them a summer update. You quickly cook the beans in a small amount of water, and then finish them in olive oil, so they're crisp-tender with a slight char. Fried shallots stand in for canned, fried onions and crumbled Pecorino cheese takes the place of a heavy mushroom sauce.

    Get the recipe: String Beans with Fried Shallots, Pecorino and Basil
  • The Classic Italian Snack You Didn't Know You Could Make At Home
    Ann Stratton
    You can buy jarred roasted peppers, but making your own is simple, and the results taste worlds better than any store-bought version. This recipe has you grill the peppers (they're practically impossible to overcook, since you want them charred on all sides), place them in a bowl and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Once the vegetables have cooled, the blackened skin will peel right off. Toss them with oil, salt, pepper and bay leaves and let everything sit for an hour, and you'll wind up with sweet, smoky peppers that are a great accompaniment to grilled meats and nearly any Italian dish.

    Get the recipe: Grilled Peppers with Bay Leaves
  • Grilled Corn You Can Take In Any Direction
    Andrew Purcell
    Corn on the cob may not be the most substantial side, but it's a breeze turning it into one. This basic recipe has many variations; we particularly love the Mexican spin, which entails a cumin mayonnaise, crumbled Cotija cheese and chopped cilantro; and, the Italian option, with grated Parmesan, minced garlic and chopped parsley. They both highlight the beloved summer vegetable in a brand new way.

    Get the recipe: Grilled Corn with Toppings