7 Awesome Recipes Of Watermelon: Your Must Have Dishes For A Chill Summer Day

Watermelon is actually a vegetable which can be traced back to Africa and is part of the cucumber and squash family. Perhaps the most refreshing, thirst quenching fruit of all, watermelon consists of 92% water and 8% sugar. Americans eat over 17 lbs of watermelon each year. The largest one on the Guinness Book of World Records weighed 262 pounds.

There are more than 50 varieties of watermelon. Most have red flesh, but there are orange and yellow-fleshed varieties. There are four general categories: All Sweet, Ice-Box, Seedless and Yellow Flesh.

Watermelons are a rich source of anti-oxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene which fight heart disease, asthma and cancer. Watermelons with red flesh are one of the best sources of lycopene. The red pigment is thought to prevent heart disease and cancer due to its antioxidant properties.

Watermelons are available all year. Choose firm, symmetrical, fruit free of cracks, bruises, soft spots or mold. Ripe watermelon will have a healthy sheen, a dull rind, dried stem, and a buttery yellow underside where it touched the ground. There should be a melon like smell or fragrance. Thump if you must, sound should be dull and hollow. Weight should be heavy for the size. 

Source: www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov, www.wikipedia.com

Image by Steve Evans available under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Watermelon and Cucumber Salad

3 cups seedless watermelon , chunked
2 cucumbers , sliced
1 jalapeno pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 25 mins

1. Seed and chop the jalapeno pepper (using gloves so as not to get the oil on your hands).
2. Mix the watermelon, cucumbers, and jalapeno together.
3. Add vinegar and salt and mix well.
4. Let stand at least 15 minutes for the flavors to blend.

Servings: 4

Tomato and Watermelon Salad

3 -4 heirloom tomatoes , small to medium, in assorted colors, cored and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 small cucumber , peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup watermelon , seedless flesh (red or yellow)
1 Hass avocado , halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon herbs , fresh, chopped (mixed in any combination ( basil, tarragon, chives, and cilantro)
¼ teaspoon coriander seed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 20 mins

1. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, watermelon, avocado, and herbs.
2. In a spice grinder, grind the coriander seeds to a fine powder. Add the ground coriander to the tomato mixture and toss gently.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the tomato mixture and toss to coat evenly. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.

Servings: 4-6

Watermelon Fire and Ice Salsa

3 cups chopped watermelon
½ cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 20 mins

1. In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, green bell pepper, lime juice, cilantro, green onions, jalapeno and garlic powder.
2. Mix well and serve.

Servings: 32

Watermelon Lemonade

8 cups cubed seedless watermelon
2 (12 ounce) cans frozen lemonade concentrate
4 cups water

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 15 mins

1. Place watermelon in a blender or food processor.
2. Cover and blend on medium speed until smooth.
3. Place lemonade concentrate and water in a large pitcher or punch bowl.
4. Add watermelon.
5. Mix well.
6. Garnish with additional watermelon if desired.

Servings: 12

Watermelon, Strawberry and Chile Salad

2 tablespoons finely chopped red onions
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 serrano chili , finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
¼ cup olive oil
6 cups seedless watermelon , cut in 1 inch cubes
4 cups strawberries , hulled and halved

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins

1. In a large bowl, whisk together onions, lime juice, salt, chiles and cilantro. Drizzle in oil while continuing to whisk constantly.
2. Add watermelon and strawberries and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

Servings: 6

Watermelon Gazpacho

2 cups 1/4-inch-diced watermelon
2 cups orange juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 seedless cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, basil or cilantro
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Process 1/2 cup of watermelon, along with the orange juice and oil, in a blender or food processor until pureed. Transfer to a medium bowl, along with remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (Can be made several hours before serving.)

Servings: 6

Watermelon Salsa

2 cups seeded and coarsely chopped watermelon
2 tablespoons chopped onion
3 tablespoons seeded, chopped Anaheim chile
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins

In a serving bowl, mix together the watermelon, onion, and chile pepper. Season with balsamic vinegar and garlic salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour to blend flavors.

Servings: 16

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