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We can hardly wait until the book is released in September, so we want to share a sneak peek of a recipe from the book that’s perfect for summertime cookouts: our incredibly refreshing Mixed Melon with Mint and Cucumber Sherbet dessert.

Maybe cucumber isn’t the first thing you think of when you think of dessert, but it’s amazing with melon. And the black sesame is fun because it looks like tiny watermelon seeds and adds a little crunch. One thing to keep in mind: if you’re using a flavorless melon, this dessert is not going to taste good, no matter how much sugar you use. Ripe melon has a pure, light flavor that’s impossible to replicate. 

Chef’s tip: This dessert is prettiest if you use a few different colors of melon. If your market sells melon halves, take advantage and buy as many different varieties as you can. The amount of sugar and lime juice you’ll need in this recipe will vary a bit depending on the flavor of the melons. Trust your taste buds and add as much or as little as you’d like. Happy summering! 

Cucumber Sherbet

2/3 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

3 tbsp corn syrup

1 lb cucumbers

1 cup whole-milk yogurt, preferably organic and local, chilled

1 tsp fresh lime juice

Pinch of salt

Melon Ice

4 cups coarsely chopped mixed melons

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup fresh lime juice, plus more as needed

1 Tbsp sugar, plus more as needed

Pinch salt, plus more as needed

2 cups finely diced mixed melons in a variety of colors

Sugar, for seasoning

Fresh lime juice, for seasoning

Torn fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Black sesame seeds, for garnish

To make the cucumber sherbet

1. In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup. Place over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

2. Set up a fruit and vegetable juicer. Cut the cucumbers into pieces that will fit in the juicer. Press the cucumbers through the juicer. Measure out 1 1/4 cups of the juice. Discard or drink any remaining juice. Transfer to a large bowl, preferably one with a pouring spout.

3. Stir the yogurt, lime juice, and salt into the cucumber juice until smooth. Stir in the cooled sugar mixture.

4. Freeze the sherbet mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the sherbet to a 4-cup storage container and freeze until solid, at least 2 hours. Keep frozen until ready to serve, or for up to 1 week.

To make the melon ice

1. Place a 9-by-13-in baking dish in the freezer. 

2. In a blender, purée the melon, water, lime juice, sugar, and salt until smooth. Add more lime juice, sugar, and salt as needed. Pour the mixture into the cold baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until solid, at least 3 hours.

3. Using a fork, scrape the frozen mixture to form small, fluffy flakes. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until ready to serve, or for up to 1 week.

To serve

1. Season the diced melon with a little sugar and lime juice.

2. Place one scoop of the cucumber sherbet in the center of eight chilled serving bowls. Generously top with the melon ice. Scatter the diced melon on top, and then garnish with the mint and black sesame seeds. Serve immediately.