Todd Gray: Hi! I am chef Todd Gray and I am showing how to prepare Champagne Melon Salad with garden mint and basil. Let's get started by cutting these melons. I have picked up three nice melons from Harris Teeter. When you are buying melons, you always want to look for melons that are not bruised, don't have any soft spots. This can be a little soft on the melons always indicates ripeness. It should have a good sweet smell to it. Let's go ahead and cut this first melon. Go right down the middle making sure that the melon is nice and stable. What I want to do is then take the inside of this melon, get rid of our seeds, expose the nice flesh that we can then Parisian scoop. There we go. Now our second melon, the honeydew. Cutting the melon, let's go down the center, splitting it. Here as well, we can take out those insides out, getting rid of the seeds, so it's nice and clean for us. Getting ready for Parisian scooping. Here we are. Fortunately, this other great seedless water melon. I will lay it down, let's go straight down on it. It is seedless, so we don't have to worry about scooping out anything out of the center. There we go. Oh! It's beautiful. Look at that. Now you see that nice interior rose color. Oh! Smells beautiful. I love the smell of water melon. So now we are ready to begin our Parisian scooping. We will start with the red seedless water melon. A Parisian scoop is an instrument that we use that creates balls. Some people call it a Ball Scoop. When you go in, go all the way into the melon, rotating around in a circular motion down into the center of the melon, nice sweet part. You can dice the melon, if you wish, but I like it, like this. We have got a really nice presentation, good visual enhancement when we put it on our final presentation at the table. I will do one more. That will be done.
Now that we have finished Parisian scooping the salad, let's go on to the next step which is dressing our salad. Let's take some of these fresh basil leaves and with that good sharp pair of scissors, we are going to actually use our scissors to cut them. What this does? It prevents any bruising of the herbs. So we will continue to make very fine, almost julienne cuts, that's what they call this cut. Nice, thin cut of basil. I will do the same with our mint. Taking our leaves, so we don't bruise the herbs, cutting gently and it is a fine julienne strips.
Okay, here we go. Now that we have got our herbs cut, let's take our lime here. Cut the lime in half and let's add approximately half of the juice from the lime. It is going to add some nice citric to our salad. It's going to bring out some of the brightness of the fruit. Now let's combine this gently. We have got our herbs and our melon and our citric from the line.
Let's add a little of the sparkling wine. Ultimately, our champagne in the salad. Let's add the agave nectar. Agave nectar is a sweetened agave liquid. As a substitute you could use honey or sugar. Let's add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Then good sea salt, nothing like melon and salt together, and our fresh cracked peppercorns.
We will mix this together. Oh! That's beautiful. We added about 2 ounces of champagne and probably a tablespoon of the agave and then a little quarter teaspoon of olive oil. Kind of, creating its own liquid now. Take a nice wine glass for presentation. Let's take our melon and let that drop in naturally. We will take this up, half way up the glass here. I will put one melon on the top. Then I add a little bit of that champagne dressing. Then final garnish, nice wedge of lime, very refreshing. There we have it, Champagne Melon Salad with garden mint and basil.