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5 Cool and Sweet Uses for Watermelon

July 16, 2012 Le Cordon Bleu Boston 0 Comments

5 Cool and Sweet Uses for Watermelon

When is a melon not melon? When it’s a gourd. And the same goes for the watermelon, which is actually a type of tropical gourd that grows abundantly in North America during the summer.

What would a summertime picnic or backyard cookout be without the light, sweet, and watery taste of watermelon? Can you imagine a summer without a watermelon seed spitting contest? Would you like a piece of grilled watermelon to go with that fried chicken drumstick?

What? Grilled watermelon? Yeah, you bet!

Watermelon isn’t just for slicing and slurping. Creative chefs and graduates of Massachusetts’ culinary schools are coming up with innovative ways to serve this wonderful summer fruit. Try some of the following ways or use your imagination and think up a few of your own.

Sparkling Watermelon Soda
Since watermelon is mostly water anyway, using it as a base for a refreshing beverage is an obvious choice. Chop up and remove the seeds of a small to medium watermelon, about 8-10 cups. Puree the fruit in a blender with a tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix the puree in a large pitcher with 12 ounces of sparkling mineral water. Chill for two hours before serving.

Watermelon Salmon
The strong, meaty taste of salmon is a great counter for this delicious marinade made from watermelon juice, soy sauce, sake, scallions, toasted sesame seeds, and sesame oil. Combine equal parts juice, soy, and sake. Chop up 2 or 3 scallions and add them to the liquid. Add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Put the salmon in a large zip-top bag or sealable plastic container. Marinate for 3 hours before sprinkling with sesame seeds and grill to medium rare. Culinary arts schools may just come knocking if they get a sample of this great summertime grille.

Watermelon Caprese Salad
Fresh from the garden flavor is the real joy of a well-made Caprese salad. This version substitutes watermelon slices for tomatoes and fresh mint for basil. Try making a balsamic blueberry or strawberry reduction for a dressing. This recipe will have everyone who tries it saying “Wow!”

Watermelon Popsicles
Every kid loves to make their own popsicles, and aren’t we all just kids at heart? Make some watermelon puree as in the sparkling soda recipe above. Pour the puree into a favorite mold and freeze. At about ½ hour start to check the progress in the freezer. Once the puree start to firm up, place a popsicle stick in each of the molds. Return them to the freezer and let them chill until frozen through. Save these treats for a really hot day. You’ll love them.

Watermelon Feta and Red Onion Salad
This flavorful side goes perfectly with grilled steaks and chops. Cube a small watermelon and mix it in a large bowl with 4 ounces of feta, a small julienned red onion, and a balsamic vinegar reduction. You can also green it up a little with your favorite greens. A mix of arugula and watercress works well.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Watermelons are cheap and available everywhere throughout the summer.

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Boston. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Boston offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in the Boston, Massachusetts area. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Boston for more information. 

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures.  Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.

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