As the temperature soars, there is nothing better than an ice-cold slice of watermelon. When I was pregnant with my daughter in the heat of July, I swore watermelon was like air conditioning in my mouth! Watermelon is rich in vitamins A and C and has a fair amount of vitamin B-6. Remember last month’s post about staying hydrated – watermelon is a great choice!
There are so many things you can do with watermelon other than just cutting it open and eating it. The rind can be pickled, it can be carved into beautiful sculptures, and it is a great addition to many recipes. It just so happens that today is National Watermelon Day so take it beyond the basics with a few of these ideas. As a Mom of 2 young kids, I am all about quick and easy but it still has to taste good and be nutritious. Here are several great recipes as well as a few of my own creations.
2 cups chopped watermelon
1 cup chopped peaches
¾ cup chopped red onion
½ cup chopped jalapeno
½ cup chopped cucumber
2 tablespoons lime juice
Fresh herbs to taste – mint, cilantro
Serve this over grilled steak, chicken, or pork. Also great with tortilla chips, cinnamon pita chips, or on a salad.
Watermelon Salad – adapted from Southern Living
8 oz. your favorite lettuce or spinach
5 cups chopped watermelon
1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
¾ cup chopped pecans
Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette (this makes the salad, see below!)
Toast the pecans at 350°F for 5-10 minutes. Combine the watermelon, spinach, and dressing and gently toss. Crumble the cheese and nuts on top. Also great as a dinner salad topped with grilled steak.
Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette: ¼ cup rice wine vinegar, ¼ cup pepper jelly, 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, 1 Tbsp. grated onion, 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, ¼ cup olive oil.
Watermelon Wedge Salad – a twist on a classic steak side dish, adapted from tastingtable.com
1 thick wedge of watermelon
2 tablespoons feta cheese crumbles
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon ground ginger
Top the wedge with feta cheese, basil, ginger, and then drizzle with honey, white balsamic vinegar, and olive oil
2 cups frozen watermelon
1 cup regular or sugar free lemonade (your choice)
Blend until smooth and enjoy!
Watermelon Margarita – grown-up watermelon, from Martha Stewart
1 small seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch thick wedges
1 cup sugar
¾ cup water
¼ cup triple sec
½ cup tequila
2 limes, cut into wedges
Coarse sea salt
1. Arrange watermelon in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bring sugar, water, tequila, and triple sec to a slow boil. Cook until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Let cool slightly and then pour over watermelon wedges. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
2. Remove watermelon from syrup and place on a serving platter. Squeeze limes over the watermelon and then sprinkle with salt. Garnish with extra limes. Carefully enjoy. ☺
You can also get creative by carving and using a watermelon as a bowl, drink container, or decoration for your party. Check out the step-by-step guide at watermelon.org. (These don’t qualify as quick or easy but are very creative!)