One of my favorite things about Summer is the endless options of fresh fruits and vegetables. There is nothing quite like the taste of a perfectly ripe tomato, cantaloupe, strawberry or slice of watermelon. It makes eating healthy so easy, so you can still sneak in the occasional ice cream + chocolate sauce.
Watermelon reminds me of childhood vacations. To this day I love buying watermelons from the back of a truck in South Georgia heading to the mountains or along the Gulf Coast on the way to the beach. So today I’m share a few of my favorite ways to enjoy watermelon this Summer.
1. Sliced with Salt
The old classic, my favorite way is to wait until that special week when watermelon is at its peak of perfection. Slice it up and sprinkle it with a touch of kosher salt. The salt only enhances the sweetness and gives it a tad bit of texture. I especially love it when the watermelon is cold with salt. There is nothing more all-American for the 4th.
2. Grilled Watermelon
This is a new one for me. We tried it out on the Big Green Egg a few weeks ago and I must admit I was a little skeptical. We sliced the watermelon and brushed it with a thin coat of olive oil and sprinkling of salt. I couldn’t even believe how sweet and almost honey-like the flavor of the melon became. Easily dessert for the evening, I do think it could have been good with a scoop of ice cream, something cool against the warm and juicy wedge. Next time I might try cubing it and adding in the mix to our shih kabobs.
3. Watermelon Salad
An easy choice when you need to bring a fresh dish to a friends house for a cookout or when you’re off for a a Picnic, cube your watermelon into bite-sized chunks and add fresh basil (torn), feta cheese and toss in a simple drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction. Again, I love the sweet and savory note and using all the fresh elements together. I also like to add a few turns of fresh cracked pepper to this one.
4. Watermelon Ice
For a refreshing treat, especially great when you have an overload of sweet watermelon, cube your melon and place in a Ziploc overnight in the freezer. Add cubes and a few splashes of coconut milk (from the can) to the blender until pureed. Spread the mixture into a flat metal sheet cake pan and place in the freezer. Let it chill for several hours and take a fork to scrape the mixture into what will look like a pile of chunky, shaved ice. Spread it around the pan again and refreeze. When you’re ready to enjoy, take a fork and again scrape the mixture so you have the same snow cone / shaved ice consistency to enjoy. I love the blend of the coconut and watermelon flavor and the amount of water in the fruit keeps it very refreshing and light.
5. Watermelon-Infused Water
I’m always trying to find an excuse to drink more water, especially during the hot Summer months in the South. This is especially simple but love it for entertaining. Take a melon baller and fill a Ziplock bag with balls of Watermelon, freezing them until completely solid. Add these to tall glasses of water as ice cubes at your next gathering with a few fresh mint leaves. It will leave a refreshing and subtle infused flavor.
Love to know how you enjoy your watermelon!