Yield
6 servings
The credit for this delightfully refreshing and extravagantly simple little amuse-bouche, or palate teaser, goes to chef Patrice Barbot at restaurant l'Astrance, in Paris.

Like much of Chef Barbot's food, it is closely linked to milk. Milk? (It's the secret to the airy froth that makes this dish look as if it is dressed for a party.)

The success of the dish rests on the quality of its ingredients, so find the most flavorful melon you can, the best yogurt, and a good Banyuls or other white wine vinegar.

David Karp on Cavillon Melons: http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/souptonuts/farmstand_melons.html
Food Freshness Tips: http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/souptonuts/science_freshness.html

Ingredients

  • 1 small Cavaillon or Charentais melon or cantaloupe (about 1.25 pounds; 525 g), rind and seeds removed, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) plain full-fat yogurt
  • The zest of 1/2 lime, minced
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) 2% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Banyuls or other flavorful white wine vinegar


Instructions

1. Puree the melon in a food processor. Transfer to a nonreactive airtight container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and lime zest. Divide the mixture evenly among six glasses that hold at least 3/4 cup (185 ml) each, such as wineglasses. Place the glasses in the refrigerator, covered loosely with a towel, to chill for at least 30 minutes.

3. Before serving, remove the glasses and melon from the refrigerator and divide the melon puree among the glasses, pouring it carefully atop the yogurt mixture.

4. In a milk frother (or in the chilled bowl of a food processor), combine the milk and vinegar and froth or process until solidly foamy on top. Place a generous tablespoon of the foam in each glass, and serve immediately.

Astuces: The array of "frothers" on the market continues to increase: try a Frothmatic or a Bonjour-Primo Latte for this. Two-percent milk froths much better than whole milk.

Banyuls vinegar, with its light hint of honey flavor, is made with the fortified wine from the Collioure area in the Languedoc called Banyuls and a vinegar starter culture. The mixture is aged for a year in oak barrels while it achieves the 6 percent acidity necessary to be wine vinegar.

Excerpted from Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin. © 2005 by Susan Herrmann Loomis. Published by William Morrow Cookbooks, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, New York.