Melons

Fruit salad isn't the only way to enjoy sweet melons, such as honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon. Turn these refreshingly juicy fruits into drinks, snacks, desserts and more. Melons appear to be mostly water, but they actually have significant amounts of fiber, vitamins A and C and folic acid. Food & Wine's guide to nutrient-rich melons offers plenty of unexpected ways to use up these irresistible gems throughout the year, especially at their peak from late summer to early fall.

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How to Pick a Perfect Watermelon

Never take a gamble on lugging home the wrong watermelon again.

Chile-Coconut Watermelon Crudo

This sweet, spicy, and punchy upgrade to classic slabs of salted watermelon is the palate-pleasing appetizer your cookout guests deserve, Fresh coconut water is much sweeter, and has a greater depth of flavor than bottled versions, so crack open a coconut if you can. If using store-bought, select a brand with no additives for the best tasting crudo. Reserve the strained spicy marinade to use as a fruity base for a tequila cocktail.

Watermelon Steaks with Warm Pickled Shrimp

Grilling watermelon gives it a pleasantly smoky flavor and a glistening surface that’s reminiscent of tuna steaks. Here, F&W’s Justin Chapple tops slabs of the sweet-smoky fruit with warm pickled shrimp, onion, and jalapeño. Fresh parsley finishes off this summery main dish.

Golden Melon Salad with Lemony Yogurt and Chiles

Creamy, rich whole milk yogurt carries the sweetness of juicy watermelon and cantaloupe in this refreshing summer salad. Perfect for brunch or dinner, the dressing adds just enough spice and acidity. For the sweetest melons, look for watermelons that sound hollow when you knock on them and have a pale yellow patch from where they sat in the field.

Marinated Watermelon with Whipped Feta

Chef Joe Kindred of Kindred restaurant in Davidson, North Carolina, lets watermelon sit in a savory marinade for 30 minutes to draw out the juices from the fruit and intensify its flavor. Slideshow: More Watermelon Recipes 

More Melon

Watermelon Slabs with Jicama

This incredibly refreshing dish is supereasy and perfect on a hot day. The combo of watermelon and jicama is like juicy on juicy, and topping it with tangy lime juice and tart ancho chile powder brings all the flavors front and center. Slideshow: More Watermelon Recipes 

Gazpacho Verde

Chef Carlos Salgado makes his gazpacho with sweet melons, cucumbers and avocados, and tops it with crisp and chewy oven-dried macerated blueberries. Slideshow: More Gazpacho Recipes