Friday, August 12, 2011

Nice Melons

My husband every year talks about wanting to go to the Watermelon festival in Cordele, GA (which happens in late June and has been going on for over 60 years!) because he is going to win the Watermelon Seed Spitting contest that they hold. Every year we forget about it and miss it, but I am going to make an effort from this day forward to help get my husband there. I will assist in the training; I will escort him there and cheer him on. I want to see this!
The watermelon originated in the southern Africa and has now spread worldwide. It is related to other plants such as cantaloupe, squash and pumpkins. It comes in all shades of pink and red and there are even orange and yellow varieties. All parts of the melon are edible. The flesh, the seeds and the rind!
I also know that whenever I buy a watermelon no matter how small it is it is always too much for us unless we are having a party. I have come up with some ideas for using up that extra melon when you just can’t finish it all.

Melon Sorbet - Serves: 6-8 
 2 pounds melon, cubed
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup natural cane sugar 
(this amount will vary depending on sweetness of your melon, start with less because you can always add more but you can’t take it back!)
Pinch of salt

Process the melon in a food processor until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until combined. Refrigerate the mixture until it reaches as close to 40°F as you can stand waiting then churn in an ice cream machine per the instructions. Don’t own one? Make a Granita! Pour mixture in a shallow casserole dish and place in the freezer. Check on it after at 30 minutes then every 30 minutes for about 1½ hours to scrape the frozen surface with a fork to create crystals. Repeat until it is nice and fluffy.  Keep frozen. To serve, allow to thaw slightly at room temperature then using a scoop scrape out desired amount.

Watermelon Feta Salad: Serves: 4  
 4 cups cubed watermelon
4 ounces feta, crumbled
Fresh basil leaves
Good extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper

Toss together watermelon and feta. To serve, top with basil leaves, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with fresh ground black pepper.

Watermelon Drink - Serves 1  
Leftover watermelon
Soda water
Lime wedges
Mint or basil
Agave nectar (optional)

Puree the watermelon in a food processor and freeze solid in ice cube trays. To serve pour vodka over a few cubes of watermelon puree. Fill with soda water and garnish with lime and herb. You can add some agave nectar if your melon isn’t that sweet.  Or rim the glass with sugar.

Enjoy those melons responsibly!

1 comment:

  1. Wow...I definately have to try the sorbet suggestion....My oldest daughter is a melon fanatic, and that would be something she'd adore.

    We dont have an ice cream maker, so the granita suggestion is a huge help!

    Thanks again!