Chef Kevin O’Donnell, owner of Giusto in Newport, Rhode Island, is sharing one of his summer grilling go-tos.
Try his grilled melon with fig and burrata recipe for a sweet twist on a grilling classic.
Picking the perfect melon is key for this recipe, O'Donnell says, so look for melon that's fragrant.
Grilled heirloom melon with fig and burrata
1 heirloom melon (We like Crenshaw or Sugar Cube melon)
10 fresh black mission figs
2 burrata (We like Narragansett Creamery or Maplebrook)
Good quality extra virgin olive oil to taste
Good quality aged balsamic vinegar to taste
8 mint leaves, torn in half
Flaky sea salt to taste
Preheat your grill as hot as it will get. It is very important that the grill is hot so the melon doesn't stick to it.
Wash the figs and remove the stems. Depending how big they are, you can either cut in half or cut in quarters. Cut the ends off the melons with a chef knife to provide a flat surface to place the melon. Following the contour of the melon, cut the rind off making sure to remove all white and hard parts to expose just the soft flesh of the melon. Next, cut the melon in half and gently scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each half in 1-inch wedges and place on a plate.
Lightly coat both sides of melon with olive oil, season with salt and place on the grill. Cook on both sides until you get nice grill marks and the melon begins to soften slightly but still remains firm. Place the melon back on the plate and immediately place the cut figs on top so they warm slightly from the residual heat on the melons. Make sure to save any juices on the plate as this will be the base for the dressing.
Once the melon has cooled you can either serve them on the plate they are on, or transfer them to a serving platter and arrange nicely with the figs and pour the natural juices all over the top.
Use a spoon to scoop the burrata into large bite sized pieces and arrange around the plate. Sprinkle the torn mint and drizzle the aged balsamic and good quality olive oil all over to finish.
Note: This is ideal to serve immediately but can be done up to 4 hours in advance and placed in the refrigerator to keep cold. If this is done in advance, make sure to place it on the counter for about 30 minutes before serving so it gets close to room temperature so the flavors stand out better.