Watermelon is a summer fruit that makes many appearances in my home during the season. Every bite of the juicy melon practically screams “summer.” The end of melon season is bittersweet because it means that I’ll have to wait several months to get my hands on a fresh crop – but I make the most of it by enjoying watermelons as often as possible as summer comes to a close. If you are a watermelon fan, be sure to try these recipes while you can pick up some perfectly ripe melons at the store or at your local farmers market!
Feta and Watermelon Salad – This easy to make dish is a wonderful appetizer or side dish. It puts the naturally sweet melon against the naturally salty feta cheese with delicious results. Start with a seedless watermelon, as your melon cubes will have a neater look if you don’t need to pry them apart to remove the seeds.
Spice-Rubbed Tri Tip with Watermelon Salsa - You might think that the watermelon is an afterthought in this main dish, but the melon adds a sweet, cooling component that contrasts well with the more savory elements of this dish. I recommend making a double batch of the salsa, since it pairs just as well with chicken and pork. I’ve even been known to eat the leftovers with a spoon.
Watermelon and Strawberry Agua Fresca – Watermelon is known for being refreshing because of its high water content, so it should be no surprise that it can be turned into a tasty and refreshing beverage. This easy-to-make drink can be made to serve one (if you have just a bit of melon on hand) or a crowd.
Watermelon Mojitos – It’s always nice to have a signature cocktail for the adults at a party and this twist on a classic mojito incorporates watermelon into the standard recipe of rum, lime and sugar. They’re almost too pretty to drink – almost.
Watermelon Granita – This is one of the easiest desserts you can make with a watermelon and it is also one of the best. It is light, flavorful and requires no special equipment to prepare it. The crystals of granita melt quickly onto your tongue with each bite, leaving you with only the luscious flavor of the melon.
Watermelon Cupcakes – These vibrantly colored cupcakes don’t taste like watermelon, but they certainly capture their look! The vanilla cupcakes have a green exterior and a bright pink interior, studded with chocolate chips to give them an authentic watermelon appearance. Some baking stores do sell a watermelon flavoring, but you can bring in a hint of melon flavor by adding a splash of Midori (melon liqueur) to your frosting.