Watermelon: Celebrate Summer's Favorite Fruit
Did you know that watermelons are actually 92% water? Hence the reason they’re so hydrating! And, humans have been enjoying watermelon’s hydrating powers for a very long time. We don’t know the precise origins of the fruit, but we do know that it comes from southern Africa. Cultivation and farming probably began around 2 B.C. In fact, Egyptologists have discovered hieroglyphs dating to the Twelfth Dynasty (roughly 1991 years B.C.) that show farmers harvesting watermelons and have even found watermelon seeds in Pharaoh Tutankhamen's tomb. Throughout that time and up to modernity, farmers and horticulturalists have crossed bred many varieties of watermelon, to create a fruit with more flesh and less seeds. We even have seedless watermelon! So, head over to Farmview and pick up this historically hydrating fruit! And, don’t forget to sample these unique watermelon themed recipes. We’ve found both sweet and savory dishes that highlight everything we love about watermelon.
Grilled Watermelon, Feta, and Basil Salad
- 1 whole watermelon
- 4 oz. feta cheese, cut into cubes
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 2 tbsp. fresh basil, sliced thin
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar (for balsamic reduction)
Cut the watermelon into 1 inch thick slabs and lightly brush them with olive oil. Place the slabs of watermelon cut side down onto a heated grill and grill for about 2-3 minutes per side or until marked and warm.
Remove from the grill and cut off the rind, then cut into 1 inch cubes. Toss the grilled watermelon with the basil, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Gently fold in the cubed feta being careful not to break it up.
For balsamic reduction
In a medium sized saucepan add the balsamic vinegar. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and then turn down heat to keep at a low simmer. It will take about 10-15 minutes to thicken and reduce. When it coats a spoon, it will be thick enough.
Watermelon and Goat Cheese Appetizer
- 1 watermelon, large
- 6-8 oz. goat cheese
- 1-2 tbsp. milk
- 1 cucumber
- A couple of limes
Wash the watermelon well. Cut a thin slice off one side of the melon to give you a flat surface. Roll the melon to the flat side (which provides stability for cutting the melon) and cut 1? wide pieces of watermelon. Lay pieces flat and using a 1 1/4?-1 1/2? round or square cookie cutter, cut pieces of melon.
With the small end of a melon baller tool, cut little half rounds out of the center of the piece. Whip goat cheese and milk together until creamy. Place the cheese into a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe into the indentations. Garnish with a little slice of cucumber. Squeeze lime juice over the top and serve.
- 6 cups watermelon, pureed (remove any seeds prior to pureeing)
- 5 cups sugar, white
- 1/2 cup lemon juice, bottled or fresh
- 1 packet pectin, powdered
Combine watermelon puree, sugar and lemon juice in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it boil vigorously until the temperature of mixture reaches 220 degrees. Be sure to stir frequently, to avoid burning on the bottom. Add the powdered pectin and boil for another five minutes.
Remove from the heat and pour into clean, sterilized canning jars, leaving about a half inch of headspace. Wipe rims, apply lids and screw on bands. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
When time is up, remove from canner and let jars cool completely, preferably overnight. When they’re cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals. You can eat immediately or store unopened jars in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
- 4 watermelon steaks ( de-seeded rectangular pieces about 3 x 4 x 1.5 inches)
- 1/2 cup sherry, cream
- 4 tbsp. butter, unsalted
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetable oil for brushing
- Feta cheese
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 6 mint leaves, chiffonade
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. In large roasting pan, oil a piece of parchment paper the size of the pan.
Prep watermelon, removing rinds and seeds. Place the slices in the roasting pan. Pour the sherry over them and dot equally with butter. Sprinkle with salt, and very lightly with pepper. Cover the watermelon with the parchment paper, then cover the pan tightly with foil. Roast the slices for 2 1/2 hours or until charred around the edges.
While the steaks are in the oven, bring to boil balsamic vinegar in saucepan and reduce in half. Remove watermelons from the oven. Sprinkle the mint and feta cheese over the steaks and drizzle balsamic reduction.