Well it’s that time again: summer. Time for picnics, barbeques, and graduation parties. What do all these things have in common, besides the fact that the season is littered with them? Watermelon. Or should I say, cubes or slices of watermelon. Because let’s face it, people, that is really the only way that we eat watermelon.
Now some of you are thinking that this statement is not true because you are an innovator; you use a melon scooper to turn ordinary squares of watermelon into extraordinary balls of watermelon. I would pat you on the back for seeking something different in the monotony that is summer fruit options, but I won’t, because I don’t think you took it far enough.
Since I’m not the kind of girl to point out what’s wrong with society and not try to help it out, I’ll give you four ways to rethink watermelon.
In the Middle of Things
So as to not overwhelm you with the crazy things you can do with a melon, we’ll start simple, with a Balsamic Watermelon Salad. If you Google “balsamic watermelon salad,” you will come up with literally hundreds of recipes. I would like to cut down on the amount of recipes that you have to sort through and give you a recipe that I made myself, as well as links to three others that are worth a try.
For my Balsamic Watermelon Salad you’ll need:
1 large tomato, cut into thick ½ inch slices
6 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
7 ounces arugula
¼ red onion, sliced very thin
2 tbsps balsamic vinegar (quality counts for this, so don’t cheap out)
2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, toss everything together; be gentle, you’re not trying to beat it into submission. Serve cool or at room temperature; I like serving it slightly chilled. And, that’s it!
The second recipe is a fun way to salvage your party when your husband got the regular watermelon, even though you asked him to get a seedless one. This might come as a surprise to some of you, as it did to me, but you can roast the seeds of a watermelon. I had no idea that you could do this, but in fact, it is a delicacy in the Middle East.
Now, if you are on a diet, you might not want to eat roasted watermelon seeds, because they are a calorie-dense food. However, if you are a vegan or your doctor said you need more protein in your diet, roasted watermelon seeds can help with that, as they are also high in protein. One ounce of seeds holds eight grams of protein.
I found a fantastic recipe from Affairs of Living and am quite fond of it, because there is so much potential for it.
Back to the Old Rind
The third way that I would like to blow your mind with rethinking watermelon is Watermelon Rind Relish. Yep, you read right, watermelon rind relish. I was a little skeptical about the idea of relish made from watermelon rind, but in truth, this recipe is inventive and refreshing. I found a great version on My Recipes.
I would like to clarify one thing about this recipe: the part of the rind that you’ll be using is the inner rind. This part of the watermelon is the layer between the pink center and the green outer rind. The reason that you want to stay way from the outer green part of the rind is that it could be coated in wax. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want wax all up in my relish.
This is a perfect recipe if you are looking for something to spice up your normal Saturday morning picnic or you Sunday afternoon barbeque.
The final way that I would like to enlighten you about the watermelon is candied watermelon rind. Now, this is truly an adventure into the dark arts of the culinary world. If you are willing to trek into the underbelly of foodie delights with me, this is the perfect recipe to start with.
I will warn you that candying watermelon rind is a time-consuming process, and there is no way that I can see to shorten it. So either set aside five hours to explore the wonder of watermelon rind, or split the process up over two days. I will tell you that this is totally worth it, if not just to show off your cooking skills to your friends, but also to make your spouse look good at the company picnic.
Here is the recipe that I used from Charlotte Fresh: Watermelon Rind Candy. If you have the time, I would strongly encourage you to give it a try.
The long and the short of it is that the watermelon is wonderful, and you now have no reason not to use the whole fruit. Stop wasting what Mother Nature made to be used in its entirety! And get to cooking.