Sweet & Savory Ways to Eat (and Drink!) Watermelon
Watermelon is one of the all-time-greatest simple pleasures of summer. Slice the always-refreshing, cheerfully pink fruit up into wedges at a family picnic and no doubt you’ll see everyone from toddlers to Grandpa gleefully gobbling it down, paying no worry to the juice dripping down to their elbows. But there are so many delicious ways to enjoy this sweet fruit. Try these eight creative spins on watermelon — both sweet and savory — before the sun sets on watermelon season.
It takes just six ingredients and 10 minutes of legwork to blend up these sweet-and-spicy Watermelon, Chili and Basil Ice Pops (pictured above). Combining the melon with fiery red Thai chiles and the licorice flavor of Thai basil is what gives them the unique flavor you can’t buy at a store.
Michael Symon knows how to improve on our favorite summer fruit. To make his Watermelon and Halloumi, first he marinates the fruit in an unctuous vinaigrette with shallots, fresh mint and toasted almonds. Then he uses the mixture to top slices of crispy and melty seared halloumi.
No drink pitcher? No problem. Pick up a melon to make our Watermelon Sours and you’ve already got a mini keg just for the occasion. Cut the top off the melon, scoop out the sweet fruit, and blend it along with gin, passion-fruit-flavored liqueur, sour mix and sparkling rosé. Add the mixture back to the watermelon, replace the top, and add a spigot for self-serve sours that are sure to be a hit at your next backyard barbecue.
Our Watermelon Granita allows you to enjoy the summer melon in one of its most refreshing and unadulterated forms. All it takes is three ingredients — watermelon, sugar and lemon juice — and some time in the freezer for delicious crystals of flavor to form.
Ina Garten’s Arugula, Watermelon and Feta Salad has garnered a 5-star rating from fans, and for good reason. The sweet-peppery-creamy combo of arugula, cubed watermelon, fresh mint leaves and feta tossed with a homemade vinaigrette is summer salad perfection.
Consider Trisha Yearwood’s Watermelon Salsa a “greatest hits” list of summer produce. Turn some tunes on in the kitchen, and get to chopping: Watermelon, cucumber, red onion, jalapeno, mango and fresh basil all get diced small enough that you get a bold marriage of flavors with every dip of a tortilla chip.
Bobby Flay’s gorgeous Watermelon-Strawberry Sangria is just the perfect make-ahead drink for summer entertaining. Simply blend up sweet berries and juicy watermelon and strain the juice into a pitcher. Add some vodka, rosé wine, a touch of orange liqueur and fresh orange juice, and some citrus slices. Let the flavors meld for up to a day until you’re ready to sit back, sip and enjoy your own party.
Wrap the freshest flavors of summer up in a tortilla with our Fish Tacos with Watermelon Salsa. Make a quick salsa with diced watermelon, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice. Use it to top grilled striped bass and sliced avocado nestled in a corn tortilla for a light yet satisfying lunch or dinner.