Juicy, grilled melons—cantaloupe, honeydew or small seedless watermelon—make terrific, light appetizers or between-courses refreshers. A brush of mild, seasoned rice vinegar adds a perfectly-balanced sweet tang that brings out the best of these summer gems. A sprinkle of chili powder or mint complements the fresh fruity flavor. That’s it. That’s cooking simply and deliciously.
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Choose firm melons, not too ripe. Use either chili powder or mint. Sprinkle on chili powder before grilling. Add mint after grilling, along with a little crumbled feta cheese, if you like.
Melon of your choice (use seedless watermelon)
Nakano seasoned rice vinegar
Chili powder, or dried ground ancho or pasilla chiles
Fresh mint, chopped (optional)
Wash melon well. Cut small watermelon in half. If using cantaloupe or honeydew, cut melon in half and scoop out seeds. Cut into 1-inch thick slices — large enough for appetizer servings but not too large to handle easily on the grill.
Brush both sides of melon liberally with seasoned rice vinegar; let stand 10 minutes. Lightly sprinkle both sides with chili powder and salt. OR sprinkle lightly with salt only, then after melon is grilled, sprinkle with fresh mint.
Heat grill to medium. If desired, rub grates with a little vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Cook melon slices 5-7 minutes, brushing with Nakano; turn and grill another 4-5 minutes. Serve warm with knives and forks.
Nutrition information per serving (1 cup watermelon with 2 tsp seasoned rice vinegar and 1/8 tsp kosher salt): 60 calories, 1g protein, 15g carb, 0g fat, (0g sat. fat), 0mg chol, 410mg sodium, <1g fiber Recipe and photo by Rita Held