Mache and Microgreens with Spicy Melon Dressing

Jalapeños are the most popular chile peppers in the US. This is probably due to the availability and versatility of the chile. Jalapeños have a balanced combination of flavor and heat. The demand for these have caused breeders to develop a broad range of varieties.

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Serves: 4 SERVINGS

3 ounces of mache, washed, dried and trimmed
1 ounce of microgreens
1 medium, ripe cantaloupe
1 teaspoon of pink peppercorns
2 Tablespoons of unsalted sunflower seeds
1 Tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon of chopped, fresh jalapeno
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of chopped mint leaves, plus more for garnish
kosher salt

Toast the pink peppercorns by placing them in a small skillet over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Lightly crush them with a mortar and pestle. (I placed them in a small baggie and used my rolling pin to crush them. You can also use the bottom of another skillet.) Set these aside.
Add the sunflower seeds to the same pan and toast them in the same way for 2-3 minutes and set them aside.
Cut the melon into 8 even slices. Chop 3 slices and place them in a blender. Puree it until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. You will have just shy of 1 cup of puree.
Pour the puree into a large bowl. Add the vinegar, lime juice, chile, garlic and half of the crushed peppercorns.
Slowly whisk in the olive oil and then add the chopped mint. Add a pinch of kosher salt, taste and adjust. Feel free to add a little more vinegar or lime juice.
Just before plating, cut the melon slices into long slices about an inch thick.
Toss the mache and microgreens with just enough dressing to coat them. Arrange the leaves on each plate with 2 slices of melon per plate. Evenly scatter the toasted sunflower seeds and remaining peppercorns on top of each salad. Garnish with a few small or torn mint leaves and serve with the extra dressing on the side.