Foods of Summer: A New Leaf (May, 1999)

  Melon Carpaccio and Mint Jus, Candied Mint Leaves, and Raspberries

The Chef
PIERRE HERME of Bouley Bakery

Serves six.

Candied mint leaves:
1 bunch mint, for about 60 leaves
2 egg whites, slightly beaten by hand
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large melons

Honey-and-lemon syrup:
1/3 cup chestnut honey
2 lemons, juiced
1 pink grapefruit, juiced
15 mint leaves, coarsely chopped

1/2 pint raspberries

Cooking Instructions
Candied mint leaves:
Remove the mint leaves from their stems, and discard the stems. Clean the leaves and pat dry. Dip each leaf in the egg whites, dry slightly on a paper towel, and immediately dip in the granulated sugar, covering both sides. Place on a wire rack and allow to dry for at least 2 hours before using. You will need about 8 to 10 leaves per plate.

Cut off the top and bottom of each melon. Use a sharp knife to cut away the remaining skin from top to bottom, following the curve of the fruit. Cut each melon in half; remove and reserve the seeds. Cut the melon into thin slices, preferably on a mandoline. Set on a platter and refrigerate until ready to use.

Honey-and-lemon syrup:
Place the honey, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, and mint in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, add the reserved melon seeds and set aside to cool. When the syrup is cold, pass through a fine sieve.

Arrange the melon slices in a circle on each of six chilled flat plates. Spoon some honey-lemon syrup over the melon. Garnish with the raspberries and candied mint leaves.