Toast the pink peppercorns lightly in a small skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Lightly crush them with a mortar and pestle or on a cutting board with the bottom of another small skillet. Set aside. In the same skillet you used to toast the peppercorns, lightly toast the sunflower seeds over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Coarsely chop approximately one-third of the melon and purée it in a blender until smooth, about 45 seconds. You should have 1 scant cup melon purée. Pour it into a medium bowl and add the vinegar, lime juice, chile, garlic, and half the crushed peppercorns. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Stir in the chopped mint leaves and salt to taste. If the dressing is too sweet add a little more vinegar or lime juice.
Just before serving, cut the remaining melon lengthwise into 8 long, elegant slices, each about 1 inch thick. In a large bowl, toss the mâche and torn mint leaves with just enough dressing to lightly coat the leaves. Season with salt to taste. Arrange the mâche on serving plates with two slices of melon per plate. Scatter the toasted sunflower seeds and remaining pink peppercorns on the top. Serve the remaining melon dressing on the side.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on four servings;
Photo: Scott Phillips