Tart fresh cherries offer a nice taste and textural contrast. The mint syrup brings the fruit flavors together into something more than a bowl of fruit. The extra step of blanching the mint ensures it keeps its bright color. We keep mint syrup in the refrigerator all season. It keeps for weeks and goes well with fresh strawberries, sliced peaches or lemon sorbet.
1 bunch fresh mint
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
3 pounds of watermelon, about 1/4 small seedless watermelon
2 pounds cherries, pitted
1. Pick the mint leaves from their stems to get about 1 cup fresh leaves. Bring the water to boil in a small saucepan. Drop the mint leaves in the water and blanch them for about 20 seconds. Remove the leaves from the water, saving the water for the syrup. Refresh the blanched mint under cold running water. Drain the mint in a colander while making the syrup.
2. Add the sugar to the water in which the mint was blanched. Cook over high heat stirring until the sugar dissolves. This will take about 2 minutes.
3. Squeeze out all the water from the mint leaves then chop them finely. Add the chopped mint to the sugar syrup. Chill the syrup overnight in the refrigerator before using.
4. Cut the watermelon into 1-inch cubes. Or use a melon baller to make nice neat pieces. Combine the watermelon pieces with the pitted cherries in a large salad bowl. Toss with the mint syrup. Serve immediately or refrigerate for several hours before serving.
Source: Priscilla, Chester, Connecticut
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