I first sampled this delightfully refreshing little amuse-bouche at the restaurant L’Astrance in Paris. Deceptively simple to make, it has become a favorite at our house, where I serve it in small brandy snifters.
6 appetizer servings
1 medium Charentais, Cavaillon or cantaloupe melon, about 1 lb 12 oz (860g), rind and seeds removed.
½ cup (125ml) plain, full-fat yogurt
Zest from one half lime, minced
½ to 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1. Using a melon ball scoop, make 18 melon balls. Put three melon balls on each of six attractive toothpicks or skewers. Place on a plate and refrigerate.
2. Cut remaining melon into chunks and purée in a food processor. Transfer to a non-reactive, airtight container and refrigerate for at least one hour.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt and lime zest and divide the mixture evenly among 6 glasses that will hold at least 3/4 cup (185ml) each, such as a wine glass or a small brandy snifter. Place glasses in refrigerator, covered loosely with a towel, to chill for at least 30 minutes.
4. Just before serving, remove glasses and melon from the refrigerator. Evenly divide the melon among the glasses, pouring it carefully atop the yogurt mixture. Drizzle each glass with a bit of the olive oil. Rest a toothpick of melon balls over each glass and serve.
Originally published in the September 2009 issue of France Today.