Make It With Melon! Happy Watermelon Month!
July is National Watermelon Month and there’s nothing better than biting into a juicy piece of fresh watermelon on a hot, summer day. Not to mention that one wedge of watermelon or two cups contains 86 calories and not a single gram of fat! This fruit is full of healthy nutrients like potassium and vitamin A, making it an excellent choice for a healthy diet.
The beautiful pink color of watermelon, due to beta-carotene, is a powerful ally against many types of cancer, particularly colon cancer. Lycopene, a carotenoid found in abundance in watermelon provides additional cancer-fighting health benefits of watermelon.
The high water content of watermelon is part of what gives it fat-burning benefits, helping to make your metabolism work more efficiently. With a healthy amount of fiber and protein, your body will still work harder simply processing watermelon.
The mildly sweet flavor of watermelon is a great addition to recipes such as watermelon salad, watermelon drinks, and watermelon salsa. There are plenty of good reasons to jump into a nice juicy wedge of watermelon!!!
Watermelon and Feta Skewers
(Watermelon and Feta are a terrific combination)
- 1 medium watermelon, cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 bunch basil leaves
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced large
- 12 oz. block of feta, cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 hothouse cucumber, cut into half moons
- Balsamic glaze, for drizzling
- Assemble skewers by layering watermelon, basil, red onion, feta, and cucumber. Place skewers onto a serving platter.
- Drizzle all over with balsamic glaze.
Yields 8 servings.
This one is not super simple, but I made it for a party once and it was a great hit!
Watermelon Goat Cheese Squares
- 2 watermelon slices, cut into cubes
- 1 oz. goat cheese, broken into small pieces
- 5 mint leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- In a small bowl, mix lemon juice and honey. Set aside.
- Using a melon ball maker I scooped out a small scoop in the top of the squares, it holds the goat cheese better. Arrange watermelon squares on a platter, top with goat cheese and drizzle with honey lemon dressing. I have also drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar. Both are great!
- Sprinkle with mint and serve.
Grilled Watermelon Pizza Wedges
(You will be pleasantly surprised at the taste treat watermelon becomes when grilled)
- 1 cup sliced red onion
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 (3/4-inch-thick) slice seedless watermelon (from a 9-inch-diameter watermelon)
- 1 ounce creamy blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
- 2 tablespoons small basil leaves
- Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
- Combine onion, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl; let stand 15 minutes or until onion is softened, tossing occasionally. Combine 2 teaspoons brining liquid and 2 teaspoons olive oil, stirring with a whisk. Drain onion, and discard remaining liquid.
- Brush olive oil mixture onto both sides of watermelon slice. Grill watermelon 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until well marked and juicy; place on a serving platter or cutting board. Top watermelon evenly with pickled onions, blue cheese, and pecans. Sprinkle with basil. Cut into 8 wedges.
Serves 4, each serving contains: Calories 120, Fat 2 g, Protein 3 g, Fiber 1 g, Cholesterol 5 mg, Sodium 165 mg.
Mediterranean Watermelon Salad
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus ¼ cup, divided
- ¼ cup rinsed capers
- ⅓ cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
- 1½ tablespoons sherry vinegar
- Ground pepper to taste
- 5 cups diced watermelon (1-inch)
- ½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- ½ cup thinly sliced fresh mint
- ⅔ cup coarsely crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
- Flaky sea salt for garnish
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small saucepan over high heat. Pat capers dry and add to the hot oil. Cook, stirring, until crisp, 1 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. (Discard the oil.)
- Whisk the remaining ¼ cup oil in a large bowl with olives, vinegar and a generous grinding of pepper. Add watermelon, basil, and mint and gently toss to coat. Arrange in a large shallow serving bowl. Sprinkle with feta, almonds and the crispy capers. Garnish with sea salt, if desired.
Serves 6, each 1 cup serving contains: Calories 260, Fat 22 g, Protein 4 g, Fiber 2 g, Cholesterol 15mg, Sodium 356 mg.
Chunky Tomato Watermelon Salsa
- 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes (about 8 1/2 oz.)
- 1 1/2 cups diced seedless watermelon (about 8 1/2 oz.)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 red Fresno chile, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
Stir together tomatoes, watermelon, red onion, chile, cilantro, mint, lime juice, 1 tablespoon canola oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. Use to top fish, chicken, or pork.
Grilled Tuna with Hot and Sweet Salsa
- 2 5-ounce fresh or frozen tuna steaks, cut ¾- to 1-inch thick
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds or ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup chopped seeded watermelon
- ½ cup chopped yellow or orange sweet pepper
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons snipped fresh mint
- Lime wedges (optional)
- Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Set aside. If using cumin seeds, in a small dry skillet, heat cumin seeds over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until aromatic, shaking skillet occasionally. Crush cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle.
- In a small bowl, combine crushed cumin seeds or ground cumin, the lime peel, lime juice, oil, ⅛ teaspoon of the crushed red pepper and the salt. Pour over fish in bag; turn to coat fish. Seal bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes, turning bag occasionally.
- Meanwhile, to prepare salsa: In a small bowl, combine watermelon, sweet pepper, green onion, mint and the remaining ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper. Set aside.
Serves 2, each serving contains: Calories 252, Fat 8 g, Protein 34 g, Fiber 2 g, Cholesterol 63 mg, Sodium 202 mg.