Fresco by Scotto restaurant in Midtown Manhattan serves up some of the tastiest seasonal dishes with an Italian kick. Rosanna Scotto's family joined her in the Good Day Cafe to prepare several dishes featuring watermelon.
Watermelon and Cantaloupe Soup with Prosciutto di Parma
3 cups red seedless watermelon, cut into medium dice
2 cups cantaloupe, cut into medium dice, reserving the cantaloupe halves for serving, set aside and refrigerate
Juice from 3 limes
1 cup fresh orange juice
Honey as needed
¼ pound thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma, diced
Fresh basil leaves for garnish
Salt as needed
1. Purée watermelon and 1 cup of cantaloupe in blender with fresh lime juice and orange juice until smooth. Season with a pinch of salt and adjust sweetness with honey only if needed. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Pour watermelon and cantaloupe puree into the chilled scooped out melon halves. Top soup with remainder of diced melon and prosciutto. Garnish with whole basil leaf or top with chiffonade of basil.
Note: Serve soup in chilled scooped out cantalopes.
Grilled Marinated Shrimp
Red and Yellow Watermelon, Navel Oranges, Baby Arugula, Vidalia Onion, Shaved Fennel, Spicy Mustard Dressing (6 servings)
2 pounds medium size shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup orange juice
juice of 1 lime
2 scallions, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 dashes hot sauce
1 teaspoon dry greek oregano
Mix all ingredients together, pour over shrimp and let marinate in refrigerator for
2 hours. Grill shrimp for 2 minutes on both sides and set aside.
To Prepare Salad
2 bunches baby arugula, washed and dried
4 seedless navel oranges, cut into large dice
5 cups seedless or seeded red and yellow watermelon, cut into large cubes
2 large Vidalia onions or sweet onion, sliced paper thin
2 fennel bulbs, cut in half, core removed and sliced paper thin
Place sliced onions and fennel in ice water and allow to soak for 30 minutes.
Spicy Mustard Dressing
¼ cup red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons dry Coleman's mustard, mixed into a paste with 3 tablespoons water until smooth
2 tablespoons extra sharp Dijon mustard
3 dashes hot sauce (your choice)
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and black pepper to taste
1. Combine vinegar, both mustards, honey, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce together in a bowl and whisk.
2. Whisk in extra virgin olive oil gradually, until all is combined; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
1. Combine watermelon, drained and patted dry onions, fennel and navel oranges. Dress with spicy mustard dressing, approximately 3 to 4 tablespoons or to taste.
2. In a separate bowl, add arugula and dress lightly.
3. Place watermelon in a bowl or platter first, then top with arugula, and finally shrimp. Drizzle with extra dressing and serve immediately.
4. Top with grilled shrimp and serve.
Honeydew and Cantaloupe Melon with Chicken Salad
(4 to 6 servings)
2 shallots, minced
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1½ teaspoons minced fresh tarragon leaves plus tarragon sprigs for garnish
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 bunches arugula, coarse stems discarded, leaves washed well and spun dry (about 8 cups)
1 whole boneless cooked chicken breast, skin and fat removed and cut into bite size cubes
1 cup honeydew melon balls
1 cup cantaloupe balls
Salt and pepper
1. In a bowl whisk together the shallots, vinegar, parsley, and minced tarragon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Add the oil in a stream, whisking continuously until the dressing is emulsified.
3. Add the arugula, chicken, honeydew melon and cantaloupe. Toss well, garnish with tarragon sprigs and serve.
Cantaloupe Kebabs with Vanilla Mint Yogurt Sauce
1 cup plain yogurt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
1 cup chilled cantaloupe balls
6-inch wooden skewers, as many as needed
1. In a bowl whisk together yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and mint; refrigerate until ready to use. One day in advance is fine.
2. Tread cantaloupe balls onto the skewers and serve with chilled yogurt sauce.
Note: Can be prepared one day in advance.