If you had to choose only ONE fruit that completely embodies the height of summer, it would have to be watermelon, right? I mean, there are plenty of other runners-up and honorable mentions in the bounty of summer fruits (I’m particularly partial to berries of all kinds), but watermelon is the essence of the summer picnic, afternoons in the shade, and silly, seed-spitting fun. Donna will be sharing some dazzling watermelon carving coming up soon, but as I had some picnics to attend, I thought I might as well try my hand at carving too.
I’ve seen some pretty spectacular fruit carving skills in my time, on cruise ships past and as recently as BlogHer Food 2012, where attendees had a chance to get creative at the Supervalu booth. I’m realistic enough to know that my aptitude for sculpture isn’t going to hold a candle to these – instead, I thought I’d run with the one type of carving I DO have experience with, however rudimentary. Who says you can only make a jack o’lantern with a pumpkin?
Of course, the innards will be consumed rather differently. Might I suggest the following spicy salad, ingredient amounts to be interpreted liberally:
SPICY MIDSUMMER WATERMELON SALAD
1 medium watermelon, cut into chunks or scooped with melon baller
juice of one lime
1-2 tablespoons olive oil or grapeseed oil (or you can forego oil altogether)
one bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
one jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
Watermelon pieces go into a large serving bowl, and chill ahead of time if desired. Whisk remaining ingredients together in a smaller bowl, then toss everything together just before serving (doing so too early can result in salad that’s too watery). Voila!
So, in a sense, I kind of CAN hold a candle to those seriously artistic watermelon sculptors, and by “holding a candle to” I mean “putting a candle IN”. So light up your midsummer nights with some jack o’melons after enjoying a refreshing watermelon salad.
Strawberry Watermelon Agua Fresca from Simply Recipes
Watermelon Mojito Poptails from Endless Simmer
Quinoa Salad with Blueberries, Strawberries, and Watermelon from Gluten-Free Goddess
Watermelon Spritzers from Two Peas and Their Pod
— posted by Anne