Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Rosy Outlook

Watermelon is the ultimate summer fruit, nothing quenches the thirst quite like a chilled slice of the sweet, crunchy, watery (85%) fruit. About a month ago I was chopping the rind off a watermelon for a watermelon, feta and black olive salad (see below) and remembered seeing a pickled watermelon rind recipe in one of my books (Stephanie Alexander) so I got pickling, the process is a bit fiddly, but I love the idea of being able to use the entire fruit. After a month of pickling in a sugary clovey bath the white fleshy rind along with the pickled lemons were finely chopped and added to the following recipe, which would also work just as well without the 'pickled' element; there was something just a little bit too christmassy about the taste, (for a 90 degree day) it must have been the cloves, nonetheless it was tasty and zesty.

watermelon salsa
Red, white and blue - watermelon, cucumber and borage flowers, add a splash of white balsamic vinegar, some mint and you have yourself a refreshing little Independence Day salsa!

July 4th was a scorcher of a day here in Montauk and it looks as though the heat will be sticking around for a while. Here are a few other simple but refreshing and cooling watermelon dishes for hot summer days.

watermelon gazpacho
combine chunks of cucumber, red pepper, watermelon, add parsley and basil, a splash of red wine vinegar, some sea salt and extra virgin olive, serve very chilled.

watermelon with feta cheese and black olives
cut the watermelon into bite size pieces and assemble on the plate with cubes of feta and black (I prefer kalamata) olives. These flavors work so well together; the cooling sweetness of the watermelon, the saltiness of the cheese and the fruitiness of the olives. 
It can be served as a salad or as a dramatic pre-dinner snack.

watermelon with feta cheese and lemon zest olive oil
cut watermelon into small wedges and top with feta, squish the cheese with a knife so that it's firmly in place then top with a tiny drizzle of olive oil and lemon zest.

watermelon and ginger beer
add ginger beer to pureed watermelon for a refreshing summer drink.