Wonderful Watermelon

It’s Foodie Tuesday!

A few weeks ago my nephew competed in a watermelon-eating contest. When I heard about this, I was extremely jealous. After all who doesn’t love pigging out on this cool treat when it is blistering hot outside?

Heart-shaped watermelon pieces

Image via Laura Chamorro on Pinterest

For years I never considered doing anything with watermelon beyond slicing it up, slurping the juice, and spitting out the seeds. But the behemoth fruit can be a little overwhelming for small households like mine and I found myself getting bored just eating it plain.

Watermelon and Feta appetizer

Photo: Thoughtful India

While cruising in the Caribbean a few years ago, I was served a refreshing salad of watermelon and feta, dressed simply with some olive oil and shredded mint. The creamy, salty cheese brought out the sweetness of the fruit and the mint brightened the flavours of the other ingredients. This has become a go-to recipe in my house when it is too hot to cook; I simply add some mixed greens to make it more suitable as a main dish.

Rubik's cube made of watermelon, feta, and kiwi

Photo: Savvy Housekeeping

For parties, I sometimes cube the feta and melon and serve it on small skewers as an appetizer. If you have the patience and want to go all out, you could replicate this Rubik’s Cube design by adding some kiwi.

Stackable, cube-shaped watermelons

Photo: OMG Information

That is way too fussy for me, though it might be easier if I could get my hands on one of the square-shaped melons that have become popular in Japan. But at 80 dollars a pop, I think I’ll pass!

Photo: Dr. Oz

Gazpacho is another favourite summer recipe of mine. Watermelon makes a great substitution for the tomato but because it doesn’t have the same acidity, it helps to add a little red wine or champagne vinegar to the puréed fruit. I start with a recipe from Epicurious and add whatever leftover vegetables I have laying around and sometimes even other fruits, like diced mango. Just remember to adjust the jalapeño and other seasonings to compensate for the extra ingredients.

Food Blogga's Watermelon Relish

Photo: Food Blogga

Watermelon pairs well with both savory herbs and piquant spices, so I can’t wait to try Food Blogga’s recipe for grilled steak tacos with watermelon salsa. The recipe reminds me a little of my gazpacho but adds crunchy jicama and creamy avocado, southwestern flavours that will complement both the grilled meat and the sweet fruit.

Photo: Drinks for Drinkers

Watermelon is also a refreshing addition to summer cocktails. It is easy to make watermelon “juice” by seeding the fruit and liquefying it in a blender with a few cups of water. Mix this with a little gin or vodka and you have a wonderful adult summer sipper but Drinks for Drinkers has some more complex recipes that are worth the extra effort.

Watermelon jello shots on lime slices with black sesame seed garnish

Photo: Cait Hates Cake

The blogosphere seems to love the combination of watermelon and alcohol and many of the dessert recipes I have found are anything but child-friendly. I especially love these jello shots which use limes and black sesame seeds to replicate little watermelons. Cait Hates Cakes used strawberry jello but if you want to stay true to theme, you can hunt down watermelon flavour.

Photo: I Love Olive Oil

I Love Olive Oil found themselves with the same watermelon surplus that I often do and decided “when life hands you melons… add tequila.” Who can argue with that logic? I can’t wait to try their tequila lime popsicles.

Photo: A Sweet Pea Chef

You could omit the alcohol in the above recipes for the kids, or you could make them a batch of this luscious looking watermelon sorbet.

Watermelon pickles

Photo: The Bitten Word

I am often so busy enjoying the watermelon flesh that I forget about the rind but it makes a wonderful treat when pickled. If you take the time to prepare this sweet and sour snack, the only thing you will have leftover are the seeds, which I guess you could try to plant in order to keep you well supplied in watermelons next summer.

Fruity Self-Portrait by Christina Otero

Photo: Christina Otero’s Self-Portrait via Demilked

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