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Watermelon: The Sweet, Plump Symbol of Summer

Nothing says “summer” like a big watermelon. This summer staple is delicious all by itself, but for those with a sense of adventure, it makes for an interesting ingredient to a wide variety of dishes.
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Choosing Your Watermelon

  • Pick a dull one – If the melon is shiny, then it’s under ripe.
  • Check the field spot – That’s the spot where the melon was resting on the ground. It should be creamy yellow in color.
  • Make sure it’s uniform in shape – A lop-sided melon probably means that it was starved for water for a time and grew in spurts.
  • Pick a heavy one – If it feels heavy for its size, then it’s full of juice.
  • Give it a knock – This trick is subjective, but if the melon gives off a dull, dense thud then it may have been picked too early.
     
    …and now for the watermelon recipes!

 

  

Cool Off with Watermelon Gazpacho


Whet your guest’s appetites with this twist on the classic cold soup.
 

Watermelon Gazpacho Ingredients:
•    8 cups finely diced seedless watermelon
•    1 medium cucumber: Peeled, seeded and finely diced
•    ½ red bell pepper, finely diced
•    ¼ cup of fresh basil, chopped
•    ¼ cup flat leafed parsley, chopped
•    3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
•    2 Tbsp shallots, minced
•    2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
•    ¾ tsp salt

Mix watermelon, cucumber, bell pepper, basil, parsley, vinegar, shallot, oil and salt in a large bowl. Puree 3 cups of the mixture in a blender or food processor to the desired smoothness; transfer to another large bowl. Puree another 3 cups and add to the bowl. Stir in the remaining diced mixture. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

View Watermelon Gazpacho Recipe

Fire & Ice Salsa with Watermelon


Sweet and sour, chocolate and peanut butter, watermelon and jalapeño? Sometimes when flavor worlds collide, the results are delicious.

Fire & Ice Salsa Ingredients:
•    3 cups watermelon, seeded and chopped
•    ½ cup green pepper, chopped
•    2 Tbsp lime juice
•    1 whole green onion, thinly sliced
•    1-2 Tbsp diced jalapeño

In a large bowl, combine ingredients; mix well and cover. Chill for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to develop. Watch Chef John Gruver’s Fire & Ice Salsa recipe video to see it come to life.  For a great combination, try serving over Giant Eagle Gulf Shrimp tacos!

View Fire & Ice Salsa with Watermelon Recipe

Fresh, Exciting Flavors: Grilled Watermelon Salad


Yes, you read that correctly. Grilling watermelon adds a delicious smoky flavor that nicely compliments the fruit’s natural sweetness.  Learn more by watching this video on grilling watermelon.

Watermelon Feta Salad Ingredients:
•    1 mini seedless watermelon
•    1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
•    1 Tbsp of olive oil
•    2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
•    Fresh pepper
•    Sea Salt
•    A handful of Pine nuts or Walnuts

Cut the watermelon in half, and then slice one of the halves in half again. Slice the fruit into 2 inch thick wedges and brush with olive oil. Combine olive oil and balsamic vinegar along with salt and pepper and whisk until it thickens. Grill watermelon on a clean grill for 2-3 minutes or until grill marks form. Cut off and discard the rinds. Put the watermelon in a serving bowl and drizzle dressing over the salad and top with nuts and feta cheese. For extra flavor and nutrition, toss in some spinach or arugula.

Tip: Scoop the fruit out of the other half of your watermelon to make a watermelon rind serving bowl!

View Grilled Watermelon Feta Salad Recipe

Make a Splash with a Watermelon Gin Fizz


The perfect adult beverage for those hot summer cookouts.

Watermelon Gin Fizz Ingredients:
•    5 cups diced watermelon
•    6 oz of gin
•    8 tbsp of Giant Eagle lime juice
•    1 and 1/3 cups ginger ale
•    Lime wedges

Freeze 1 cup of watermelon for garnish and puree the remaining 4 cups. Distribute the puree among 4 glasses. Add 1 and ½ oz of gin, 2 Tbsp of lime juice and 1/3 cup ginger ale to each glass. Use frozen watermelon and lime wedges for a garnish and enjoy!
For a kid-friendly, non-alcoholic version, simply leave out the gin!

View Watermelon Gin Fizz Recipe