Full Moon This Weekend: Jeff McInnis's Melon, Cucumber, and Heirloom Tomato Salad Recipe

I'll have an extra shot of nitrogen, thanks.
I'll have an extra shot of nitrogen, thanks.

No stews or soups this time of year! Chef Jeff McInnis is sharing the perfect summer recipe -- ​light, flavorful, and exploding with all the colors of the season. Yeah, the sorbet takes a little technical know-how, and finding verjus and gelatin sheets might prove a little challenging, but the rest is as simple as it gets. And no surprise here: This recipe provides a liquid nitrogen injection option for those so inclined.

(Also, if you have nothing to do this Saturday night, check out McInnis's stomping ground, the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, for its popular Full Moon Party. Guests can expect reduced-priced signature cocktails, DJ Edwin Adams spinning lounge music, high-tech telescopes, and the typical lunacy one expects on South Beach.)

Melon, Cucumber, Heirloom Tomato Salad With Mint, Lemon, Tomato Water Gelée, and Yogurt Sorbet

Yields 10 portions


1 ea. juice of lemon

1 ea. juice of lime

1/2 ea. juice of orange

1/4 oz. fresh ginger, minced fine

1 oz. yuzu juice

4 oz. water

5 oz. extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


70 melon balls of cantaloupe

70  melon balls of honeydew

70 melon balls of watermelon

1 ea. European cucumber, sliced

1 pint (about 2 cups) heirloom, grape, cherry, or teardrop tomatoes

edible flowers of all colors, to taste

1/4 head fennel, shaved fine on slicer

25 leaves mint, sliced thin

Tomato Water Gelee

12 large red ripe tomatoes

1 T sugar

1 t salt

2 T white verjus

30 sheets gelatin

Yogurt Sorbet

2.2 lb. yogurt

10 oz. sugar

5 oz. water

1 ea. zest of lemon

pinch salt

For the sorbet:
Heat the water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved completely, and mix together with the yogurt and zest. Spin in ice-cream machine or whisk in equal parts liquid nitrogen.

For the vinaigrette:

Juice all citrus and mix well with all ingredients.

For the salad:
Cut and scoop all the melons, cucumber, and tomatoes and toss all ingredients together with the vinaigrette. Finish the salad with a big scoop of yogurt sorbet, and garnish with flowers.

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