Melon and Mint Salad

This is the perfect salad for a cookout or a potluck — it’s even better if you make it 4-6 hours ahead, so that the flavors have time to meld. The cayenne gives it a subtle kick, but the end effect is barely spicy. It’s very pretty and refreshing for any hot summer day!

Melon and Mind Salad
serves: about 12

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
3 smallish melons (I used a watermelon, cantaloupe, and musk melon) or 2 medium, with seeds removed
3 2″ sprigs fresh mint, with extra leaves minced for garnish
1/3 cup sweet white wine (such as Riesling)
juice of 3 limes
dash salt
1/4 tsp cayenne

1. Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, to make a simple syrup. In the meantime, remove the seeds from the melons and scoop out melon balls into large bowl.
2. When syrup has come together, keep at low heat and add sprigs of mint and Riesling, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
3. Juice the limes into a small bowl, and add a pinch of salt. Remove the mint sprigs and add syrup mixture to lime juice mixture and whisk together into dressing.
4. Pour the dressing onto the melon through a strainer. Sprinkle on a bit more salad and the cayenne pepper and gently stir (add more cayenne to taste if desired).
5. Add the extra minced mint leaves just before serving (they might turn brown if left on too long) and stir. Enjoy!

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