Spiced Melon Salad

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The spices give this dish an elusive flavor.

This dish was part of a breakfast during a three day, breakfast and lunch catering event.
Recipe is by Chef Omri Aflalo. The dish starts with a spiced simple syrup, with cinnamon, bay leaf and star anise.

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Then, dice some of the melons, toss with the syrup and compress them in a vacuum sealer for one hour.
This changes the texture of the fruit slightly, transforms the color until they’re almost translucent, and infuses the melon with the spice flavors.

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The melons are topped with candied slivered almonds flavored with nutmeg for an additional spice punch.

Spiced Melon Salad

For the spiced syrup:
1 C sugar
1 C water
1 stick cinnamon, broken into pieces
1 bay leaf
1 star anise

For the candied almonds:
3 egg whites (the smallest amount that my KitchenAid mixer will process)
1 T sugar
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 C slivered almonds

Combine all syrup ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool & store with the spices in it.
Whip the egg white, sugar, and nutmeg until it forms soft peaks. Toss the almonds with just enough to coat (there will be quite a bit of leftover egg white mixture). Spread the almonds out on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Dice the melon and toss with the syrup. If desired, compress some of the melon for 1 hour.
Toss all the melon together and top with candied almonds.

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