Summer days are the perfect match for the cool, refreshing, sweet, and juicy flavour of watermelon.
Now, go beyond those thickly sliced, messy slabs of juicy goodness with these fabulous ways to get your ‘mel on:
Grill It: When grilled, watermelon gains an added depth of flavour. Use the same premise you would when grilling a sushi grade piece of tuna: Get it just charred on the outside and cook it in thick slabs to maintain the sweetness and juice without it crumbling apart on the grill.
Toss it: Watermelon is the ultimate addition to your summer salads. It is amazing when paired with a number of other fresh ingredients and looks smashing when married with brilliant purple onion and white chunks of feta.
Puree it: Nothing beats a melon puree to provide a refreshing chilled drink. You can serve it straight up, add some fresh coconut water and of course give it a douse of your favourite vodka or sparkling wine. Freeze it in cubes and throw it in the blender for an even more refreshing drink sans ice.
Salsa it: Replace your tomatoes with watermelon to create a whole new twist on salsa. Watermelon salsa is the perfect partner with grilled fish and chicken or can even be used as a dip with your favourite corn chips or pita squares. You can also add it to sandwiches, tacos and wraps.
Dip it: Prepare your watermelon in thick strips and serve it as an appetizer with a salty feta dip or use a sweeter dip such as vanilla yogurt.
Skewer it: Create luscious watermelon skewers alternating with cubes of feta cheese. If you prefer you can add mint or use poached or grilled shrimp instead. Serve as the perfect summer appetizer.
Stack it: Use a cookie cutter to create circles of watermelon and then stack it to create an interesting appetizer or dessert. Make bite size circles and top them with goats cheese and a piece of crisp bacon for a poppable delight with drinks.
Dish it: Watermelon is a pretty melon with its bright and pale green stripes. This makes it a perfect bowl to serve fresh summer salads or chilled soups. Scoop out the melon with a melon baller and use the balls for dessert or on a fruit platter and then chill the “bowls” until you are ready to serve your soup or salad.
Ball it: Melon balls can be used in so many different ways including served frozen in cold summer drinks and punches, added to fruit platters, dropped in melon soups, served on ice cream and grilled on skewers.
Tap it: For a unique way to serve summer drinks choose the prettiest, most perfectly shaped watermelon, slice off the top and remove the pink melon just to where the white begins. Then slice a thin piece of the rind off the bottom to keep it balanced. Be certain it is still thick on the bottom to avoid leaks. Then tap it with a spigot for the perfect self-serve keg. This is actually perfect for cold water which will become infused with a hint of melon but works for any drink you choose.
Freeze it: You can freeze melon balls or cubes and then gently puree them while frozen. Place back into the freezer to “reset” and then scoop into bowls for a perfect, healthy dessert.
Mint it: Mint and watermelon are a perfect combination. You can use mint in watermelon salads, drinks, purees, soups, desserts and as a garnish on skewers.
Watermelon is a versatile summer ingredient that can be used in a number of creative ways to be a real people pleaser at your next summer gathering.