TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — I know what you’re thinking — you are so over the watermelon! The thrill of running into them at Safeway is long gone. You are going to kill the next person who invites that watermelon to the barbecue. The dock is not big enough for the two of you! Deep breath. You are just going through that phase when the honeymoon is really and truly over. It’s time to mix it up a little, get creative. Following are a few recipes to help you get your groove back and joyfully weather the watermelon for the rest of the summer. Remember, you are in this for the long haul …
Watermelon and Tomato Sorbet
Very refreshing and can be used in smoothies for a summer pick-me-up.
6 cups 1-inch seeded watermelon chunks
1 cup sugar
6 very ripe tomatoes, quartered (about 3 1/2 pounds)
2 Tbls. lemon juice
Preparation: Combine first three ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Let stand 30 minutes.
Squeeze tomato quarters into a wire-mesh strainer over a 4-cup measuring cup. Place squeezed tomatoes into strainer, and firmly press with back of a spoon, pressing until liquid measures 3 cups. Discard tomato pulp in strainer. Process half of tomato juice and half of watermelon mixture in a blender until smooth. Repeat with remaining tomato juice and watermelon. Stir in lemon juice. Pour mixture into freezer container of a 2 1/2-qt. electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. If you do not have an ice cream maker, freeze in air-tight container for several hours. Sprinkle each serving with coarse salt, if desired.
Spicy Watermelon Side Salad
Perfect with anything off the barbecue. The jicama (available at Safeway) gives it a nice crunch.
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 Tbls. sugar
2 Tbls. fresh orange juice
1 jalapeno or 2 Serrano peppers, seeded and minced
1/2 tsp. sea or kosher salt
1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint
1 small seedless watermelon, diced into 1-inch pieces
1 small cantaloupe, diced into 1-inch pieces
2 English cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 jicama, peeled and diced
2 mangoes, peeled and diced
Preparation: Combine lime juice and next 5 ingredients. Place red onion, cilantro, mint, watermelon and cantaloupe in a large bowl. Add the cucumbers, jicama, and mangoes; stir gently. Stir in lime juice mixture. Cover and chill 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Watermelon Mint Margaritas
Now we’re talking. You are going to fall in love with your watermelon all over again.
4 cups seeded and chopped watermelon
Fresh lime juice
1/2 cup tequila
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbls. grated lime rind
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
2 Tbls. chopped fresh mint leaves
Garnish: fresh mint sprig
1. Place watermelon in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze 4 hours or until firm.
2. Coat rims of cocktail glasses with lime juice; dip in sugar.
3. Process frozen watermelon, tequila, and next 4 ingredients in a blender until slushy. Pour into glasses. Garnish, if desired.
Mediterranean Watermelon Salsa
The Kalamata olives give this salsa a great twist. It’s a keeper. A laminate-worthy recipe.
2 cups chopped seedless watermelon
1/4 cup chopped, pitted, Kalamata olives
1/2 half English cucumber, chopped
2 Tbls. Sriracha chili sauce
2 Tbls. minced red onion
2Tbls. White balsamic vinegar
1 Tbls. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
Preparation: Mix watermelon with the next five ingredients. Add olive oil and salt. Great served with grilled fish.