Sunday, August 23, 2009


It's tempting to dig right in to a freshly cut raw watermelon, but if you can hold off long enough to make a recipe, the ones that follow will really be worth the wait. Melons are surprisingly versatile foods to work with, and complement many other flavors. They can be pureed into delicious salad dressings or cold summer soups, dressed with various sauces, or even grilled. Below are some of my favorite easy watermelon recipes. Summertime is never truly complete without some juicy, red watermelon, and these recipes really bring out the best of the summer season.

Simple Watermelon Basil Vinaigrette

4 cups watermelon, drained
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup champagne or apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Place all in ingredients in a blender. Pulse until fully mixed. Flavor with salt and pepper.

Paula's Easy Watermelon Dessert
courtesy of Paula Deen,

1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 watermelon (about five pounds)

Directions: Mix all ingredients except the watermelon together in a large bowl. Slice t
he watermelon, remove the seeds, and cut into cubes. Place into individual bowls, drizzle with the pineapple-honey-lime sauce, and serve.

Tomato, Watermelon, and Basil Skewers
courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis,

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 watermelon (4-5 lbs) cut into 32 (1 1/2 inch) cubes
32 small basil leaves
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
special equipment: 16 skewers

Directions: Bring balsamic vinegar and sugar to a simmer over heat, mixing together until fully dissolved. Set aside. Starting with the watermelon, push cube to end of the skewer. Follow with a basil leaf, then a tomato half - then repeat once more. Drizzle with the balsamic sugar glaze, sprinkle with salt, and serve.

Watermelon Muffins
courtesy of Peggy Trowbridge Filippone,

1-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup (about 1/8 medium seedless watermelon) watermelon juice with pulp (see Note)
Red food coloring, optional
3/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
Confectioners' sugar, optional

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line standard or miniature muffin tins with baking paper cups.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and sugar in a medium bow
l. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs. Add sour cream and watermelon, beating just until combined. (A few drops of red food coloring may be added to the batter to enhance the color to simulate watermelon.) Fold in chocolate chips.

Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes for standard muffins or 15 to 18 minutes for mini-muffins. Place muffins on racks to cool. Just before serving, sift with powdered confectioners' sugar, if you wish.

Yield: 12 standard muffins or about 48 mini-muffins

Note: Cut seedless watermelon into cubes and process in a food processor or heavy-duty blender until thick with small bits of pulp still remaining. You will need 1 cup of processed watermelon.

No comments: