Company Dinner with Product Themed Menu

The mission was to create a special menu based around a specialty produce company’s key products – PureHeart®Watermelon, Tuscan-Style® Cantaloupe, Primodoro® cherry tomatoes and Amadora® cherry tomatoes.

How fun is that?!  Great produce, super ripe and wonderfully flavorful, as the basis for a multi-course dinner!

I guess many people have tried Melon and Prosciutto.  So a different spin on that seemed to be necessary.  Mine pairs it with a white balsamic dressing and a small salad of micro greens.

And I had tried grilled Watermelon a few times.  To very good effect.  So using the grilled watermelon as the basis for a starter seemed like a great fit.  Paired here with caramelized goat cheese and a sort of airy gelatin cloud made from tomato water that was extracted from the Amadoro cherry tomatoes.

Plus, a favorite combination of mine is very ripe tomatoes and watermelon.  Somehow very complementary in flavor profiles.  Maybe this time as a soup.  With a few interesting and unusual garnishes to provide contrast.

So the starters were coming into focus.

For the main course, something West Coast for people arriving from Europe might be fun.  Like fresh Hawaiian Mahi Mahi.

Tomato jam is something that works well with firm white fish like Mahi Mahi.  A little melon and tomato salsa on the side and the main Entree was looking very tasty.

Dessert was both easy and hard.  Certainly melons – both cantaloupes and watermelons – lend themselves to sorbets, gelato, granitas, etc.  And fresh ripe fruit in general is always nice.

But I wanted to work in the tomatoes as well.  For dessert.  Just because it would be something very out of the ordinary.  So I went with an Italian mascarpone pudding called a Budino – very rich and creamy – with an interesting caramelized tomato and raisin compote to serve over the top of the budino.

Here is the menu we came up with:

Starters

Grilled Watermelon with Caramelized Goat Cheese,
Crisped Serrano Ham and Tomato Water Clouds

Carpaccio of Cantaloupe
with Serrano Ham and Arugula

Fresh Watermelon and Tomato Soup
with Basil Gelato and Olive Oil Ice Cream

House made Sour Dough Flat Breads


Entree

Lightly Grilled Mahi Mahi on Garlic Cream with Tomato Jam
Basmati Rice Pilaf
Grilled Tuscan Kale


Desserts

Cantaloupe and Basil Granita
Mascarpone Budino with Tomato Compote

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