Nothing says summer like biting into a ripe, juicy slice of watermelon, particularly when it’s fresh off the rind. Though the purists may say there’s no better way to eat watermelon, we’d argue that it’s time to get your fill of this in-season fruit by incorporating it into all of your meals. Consider this your personal watermelon bucket list: six recipes for anytime of day.
Think about the first time you go to the grocery store or farmers market and see a big display of bright-green watermelons. It’s hard not to pick up one of those beauties and use it in every possible way. But the options don’t end with putting it in a fruit salad or on the grill. Watermelon is also super versatile when it comes to drinks, including cocktails. Adding it in or using it as a base gives any drink that juicy, slightly sweet flavor for which watermelon is known. So check out these one-of-a-kind recipes and start embracing the wonderful world of watermelon cocktails.
Watermelon Mai Tai: A spicier alcohol like rum might not be the first thing you think of when you want to cool off during a hot summer day, but this drink uses it perfectly. With watermelon and lime to cut through the strong flavor of the rum, it goes down nice and smooth. Just don’t let the fruity flavor fool you into having too many.
Watermelon’s always been the coolest fruit of summer. When I cut into a watermelon, it’s either for a last-minute barbecue contribution or an instant “side dish” for the kids — seed-spitting contests are just a bonus. It has plenty of vitamins A and C, and it’s ready in two minutes flat. Wedges, cubes, balls of sugary-sweet juiciness — the options are endless and there’s no oven required. But maybe I need to hone my knife skills and take a slice from Vancouver’s Clive Cooper, a government worker by day and artist by night whose latest extreme watermelon carvings give fruit-platter party planners something to, well, chew on.
I thought Cooper and his fabulous menagerie were the “why” of a spike in watermelon searches reported by Yahoo web trend expert Lauren Whitehouse a week or two ago; since then his fierce alligator carving and the latest, the triceratops above, have been stomping their way through food news and Facebook. He’s not the only one; Pinterest is ripe with countless carved characters. Why, after all, should food fans have to wait for pumpkin season to make faces? As to folks searching “watermelon,” they wanted to know how many calories are in the fruit (about 50 per cup) and how to cut it (try Alton’s cut-the-ends-first method); there was also a 500+ percent increase in searches for “watermelon cake” (not a cake at all but a trompe-l’oeil fun fruit dessert), plus plenty of people pondering perennial favorites likes drinks and refreshing salads with watermelon (with feta as a partner; here is Ina’s take, one of my go-to’s for summer guests).
You don’t need us to tell you it’s hot. We’re officially occupying the dog days of summer, and there’s no escaping — or is there?
When you post up after a long day, arm your wet bar with a little something different: the cooling qualities of watermelon. There’s no better ingredient to better your summery cocktails, with the fruit’s natural sweetness and refreshing water content. Though all of these drinks employ the same fruit, they each revive in a different way, running the line between iced and frozen, alcoholic or virgin, traditional or eccentric. If these don’t cool you down, nothing will.
Everyone loves a good cocktail. Today FN Dish is slurping the iconic ones, this time with a watermelon twist. With light rum, fresh mint leaves and a big squeeze of lime, the Barefoot Contessa’s Watermelon Mojito is best enjoyed curled up on a beach chair. As for Food Network Magazine’s Watermelon Sours, sour mix, lime and fruit-flavored liqueur punch up each slurp.
Light, bright and naturally sweet, juicy watermelon is an in-season fruit that fills you up without weighing you down. Though it’s most common on breakfast and brunch tables, it shines in meals any time of day, pairing well with sweet and savory dishes alike. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite new ways to cook with and serve watermelon, then tell us your favorite way to enjoy watermelon.
Food Network Magazine’s Watermelon and Haloumi Salad (pictured above) is a simple, satisfying dish that takes just 20 minutes to make. What in the world is haloumi? Great question. It’s a Greek cheese that’s mild in flavor and fairly firm in texture, so it easily can be fried or grilled without melting. This recipe mixes golden-fried haloumi with sweet chunks of melon, a few slices of crunchy celery and a tangy vinaigrette.
If you’ve never tasted cooked watermelon, give it a try in Claire Robinson’s Grilled Watermelon Salad. She cooks the melon for just a few minutes on an indoor grill pan then adds it to a bed of peppery arugula and tops it with goat cheese and a balsamic syrup. With just five ingredients, this seasonal plate is a must-try recipe.
It’s almost summer and high time to take advantage of the season’s most succulent fruit: fresh watermelon. Ruby red, juicy and naturally sweet, this jumbo superfruit can be sliced and diced in a salad, grilled over an open flame or pureed and frozen. Our recipes boast welcomed ease and summer comfort and, best of all, they won’t leave you stressing over a single seed.
Food.com’s recipe for Marinated Grilled Chicken With Watermelon Salsa is an easy summer meal that celebrates the classic flavors of the outdoors. Herb-Chicken is grilled and served with a heaping scoop of fruit and veggie salsa. Also great atop grilled seafood, this salsa will become a summer staple in your recipe box.
Looking to cool off after a day in the sun? Whip up a batch of Cooking Channel’s recipe for Watermelon Vodka Gazpacho. This chilled soup is packed with watermelon and fresh garden vegetables. No need to reheat this dish, so save some to bring to work tomorrow.