If you can't help buying a watermelon or two every time you pass a farmstand or do a grocery run in the blazing summer heat, join the club. And while we never get sick of eating watermelons straight, no chaser, we also want to use the fruit in pretty much everything else we can think of. Here, 9 couldn't-be-easier recipe ideas to get the juices flowing. Photos by Rachel Johnson.
1. Juice a Melon: Mint and Watermelon Juice
Place 2 cups seedless watermelon chunks, 6 mint leaves, and 1/2 cup water in a blender and blend until smooth. Fit a fine mesh sieve over a pitcher and push watermelon pulp through sieve, 1⁄2 cup at a time. Discard any remaining pulp. Chill and serve over ice. (Makes: 1 1/2 cups juice.)
2. Freeze a Melon: Watermelon Ice Cubes
Place 1 cup seedless watermelon cubes (cubes should be about 1-inch square) on a small baking sheet in a single layer. Freeze completely, about 4 hours, and use as "ice cubes" for sparkling water or your preferred beverage. (Makes: 1 cup watermelon "ice cubes.")
3. Liquor Up a Melon: Watermelon Paloma
Make 1 batch Mint and Watermelon Juice (see above). In a cocktail shaker, mix 2 parts Mint and Watermelon Juice, 1 part tequila, and 1 part lime juice. Serve over crushed ice and garnished with a lime wedge. (Serves: 2)
4. Jazz Up a Melon: Sweet and Spicy Watermelon Wedges
Sprinkle desired amount Tajin (Mexican Chili Lime Salt) over 1 cold watermelon wedge. Enjoy the sweet and spicy experience. (Makes: 1 watermelon wedge.)
5. Healthy a Melon: Watermelon, Cucumber and Feta Salad
In a large bowl, make a dressing by whisking together 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon honey. Toss 1 1/2 cups balled watermelon, 1/2 cup diced seedless cucumber and 1/2 cup feta cheese chunks with the dressing. Garnish with mint leaves and freshly cracked black pepper. (Serves: 2)
6. Pop a Melon: Watermelon Lime Tequila Popsicles
Follow instructions for Watermelon Palomas (see above) but use only 1 teaspoon tequila. Divide into popsicle molds and freeze overnight, or at least six hours. (Makes: 4 popsicles.)
7. Grill a Melon: Grilled Watermelon and Tilapia Skewers
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Add: 1 cup cubed watermelon and 8 ounces tilapia, cut into 2” pieces. Preheat grill and oil grates well. Skewer 4 wooden skewers evenly with watermelon, tilapia, and 1/2 red onion (quartered and peeled apart). Grill on all sides until watermelon is marked and fish is cooked through, about 3 minutes each side. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chopped italian parsley and serve with rice or preferred vegetable. (Serves: 2)
8. Bubble a Melon
For a summery spin on a brunch favorite, try combining 1 part Watermelon Mint juice (recipe above) and 1 part sparkling wine or Champagne for a sweet Watermelon Mimosa. Garnish with a mint sprig or a thin slice of lime for an extra fancy factor. No need to go Dom Perignon for mimosas-try Champagne's Spanish cousin, Cava, or another sparkling wine for a refreshing spritz. Typically these bottles are a lot cheaper and do the job just as well.
9. Fiesta a Melon: Watermelon Salsa
Combine 2 cups diced watermelon, 1 small diced jalapeno (seeds and veins removed), 1/4 cup diced red onion, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and 1 teaspoon sea salt in a large bowl. Toss gently to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes and serve cold with tortilla chips.
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