Melon Farci aux Capucines

Melon Stuffed with Nasturtiums

Here is a pretty dessert from Paul Reboux’s Plats nouveaux – essai de gastronomie moderne, a charming book from the 1920s. Some English supermarkets now sell boxes of nasturtium flowers to add to salads, so even town-dwellers may care to try this delightful way of serving a melon. Use whichever fruits take your fancy – it is the idea that is so attractive.

Ingredients

  • a good-sized cantaloupe melon
  • ½ small, fresh pineapple
  • 2 bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 225 g(8 oz) strawberries
  • 70 g( oz) caster sugar
  • 1 wineglass fruit liqueur or champagne
  • nasturtium flowers

Method

Wipe the melon with a damp cloth. Cut across the top to make a round opening large enough to take a tablespoon. Remove all the seeds and discard. Then scoop out the flesh, making sure you don’t make a hole in the skin, and cut into neat pieces in a bowl. Add the pineapple, diced, and the bananas and strawberries, and sprinkle in the sugar.

Spoon the mixed fruits back into the melon and pour in the liqueur or champagne. Replace the lid and keep the melon in a cold place for up to one hour before serving.

Tie the nasturtiums into a bunch and when ready to serve, remove the melon lid and tuck the flowers into the top of the melon. Surround the melon with chipped ice if available. If there are guests, serve the melon to the leading lady and present her with the bouquet. She can distribute nasturtiums to the other guests to nibble with the fruit salad.

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