Friday, August 9, 2013

eating my share: what a melon

I cleared the counter, positioned my melon on the cutting board and started in with the tip of my knife. Shhwak! All it took was a little bit of pressure and the melon split itself open. The fragrance and deep salmon color pervaded my senses. And then I noticed the abundance of seeds...

A project had begun. I set up three bowls and worked through the melon, removing seeds along the way. One bowl collected small bits to be used in a salad for dinner. I threw larger chunks into the second bowl and placed the third bowl underneath a strainer. This was to save juice from the pieces with the most densely populated seeds. You can use your hands to squeeze and press the juice through the strainer.

This third bowl of watermelon juice will make your next happy hour even happier. Just add lime and tequila and you've got a summer margarita. (Try adding a couple jalapeno slices if you like it spicy.) The juice stores well in the freezer if you want to save it for a taste of summer during the winter.

After this melon-venture we had a simple dinner. I combined watermelon and cucumber for a refreshing salad and roasted some sungolds to smoosh onto grilled bread.

watermelon and cucumber salad
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
(I like to peel half the skin in alternating strips)
2 cups of watermelon, cut into cubes
(cantaloupe or tomatoes would also work well)
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 tbs white wine vinegar
sprinkle of salt
fresh mint and chives

To seed your cucumbers, slice them in half vertically and use a spoon to scrape down the middle and remove the seeds.

Combine the red onion with the vinegar in a large bowl and let sit for a few minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Garnish with more mint and chives.

roasted sungold tomato crostini
1 pint of sungold tomatoes
1 tbs fresh oregano (or herb of choice)
4 slices of bread
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 clove of garlic
grilled shrimp

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and toss in tomatoes with a drizzle of oil, herbs and salt and pepper. Roast tomatoes for 30 minutes.

Alternately, you can roast the tomatoes for an hour in a 250 oven for a slow-roasted effect. Or you can wrap them in a foil packet and grill.

To make the crostini, drizzle bread slices with olive oil and grill or toast. While warm, rub a garlic clove over the grilled bread. Top each slice with roasted tomatoes and grilled shrimp.

When you were a kid, did adults tell you not to swallow watermelon seeds or a watermelon would grow in your belly? I ate a couple seeds out of curiosity and I found them interesting, tasted like grass!

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