- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 stalk lemongrass (white part only), finely chopped
- Grated zest of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup Thai fish sauce
- 1/2 red chile, seeded and minced
- 1 1/2 pounds watermelon, peeled and cut into large dice (about 5 cups)
- 2 pounds honeydew, cantaloupe or Galia melon (or a mix), peeled, seeded and cut into large dice (about 6 cups)
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 bunch basil leaves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted peanuts
Make the dressing
Combine the sugar, water, ginger, lemongrass and lime zest in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Immediately remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Add the lemon juice, lime juice, fish sauce and chile; mix well. Let cool to room temperature.
Make the salad
Place all the melon in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest and sliced basil leaves.
Drizzle the dressing over the fruit and let stand for at least 10 minutes, but not longer than 2 hours. This resting time allows the flavors to soak into the melon. Refrigerate if not serving right away. Garnish with the peanuts just before serving.