WATERMELON STRAWBERRY-MINT SALSA

For a dynamite combination, serve salsa with grilled chicken breasts seasoned with jerk marinade or jerk seasoning before cooking.

1 cup diced watermelon (seeds removed)
3/4 cup diced strawberries
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 tablespoons diced seeded jalapeno chili
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar

Gently stir together all ingredients in bowl.  Let stand to blend flavors, about 1 hour.

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time:  25 minutes
Standing time:  1 hour
Per serving:  92 calories, 8g carbohydrates, 1g protein, 7g fat, 1g dietary fiber, 3mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol


 SPRING WATERMELON SALAD WITH CITRUS VINAIGRETTE

A refreshing salad that’s a treat for the eye as well as the palate.

6 cups watercress (leaves and tops of stems)
4 cups cubed watermelon (about 1/2 inch cubes, seeds removed)
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup fresh chervil leaves (optional)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/3 cub citrus vinaigrette

Toss watercress, watermelon, green onion, chervil and parsley in large bowl; set aside.  Heat sesame oil in small skillet; add sesame seeds.  Cook over low heat, stirring, until sesame seeds just begin to darken.  Remove from heat and stir; toss with watermelon mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.  To serve, drizzle 1/3 cup Citrus Vinaigrette over salad; toss to coat; Serve at once.

CITRUS VINAIGRETTE

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup peanut oil
3 tablespoons minced shallot
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons coarse-grain Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey

Place all ingredients in container of electric blender or food processor.  Cover and pulse until smooth.  Store in refrigerator.
Vinaigrette makes 1 1/2 cups

Preparation time:  20 minutes
Salad recipe makes 6 servings
Preparation Time:  30 minutes
Per serving:  178 calories, 10g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 15g fat, 2g dietary fiber, 28mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol


WATERMELON LEMONADE

A refreshing twist on the all time favorite, lemonade.  Watermelon juice frozen in ice cube trays is a great way to cool lemonade or other beverages.
6 cups watermelon cubes (seeds removed)
1/4 cups raspberries
1 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juicePlace watermelon, raspberries and water in container of electric blender, cover and blend until smooth.
Strain through fine mesh strainer into pitcher.
Stir in sugar and lemon juice until sugar dissolves.
Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time:  20 minutes
Chilling time:  1 hour
Per serving:  151 calories, 37g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 1g fat, 2g dietary fiber, 12mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol


WATERMELON GRANITÀ-FILLED LIME CUPS

These mini melon look-alikes will delight your guests.  Store extra granità (shaved ice) in a freezer container for later use.
12 limes (reserve 2 tablespoons juice)
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
4 cups watermelon cubes
1/2 cup currants or raisins
Crushed ice (optional)

To make lime cups:  Cut limes I half lengthwise; cut around pulp of each half with sharp knife, leaving peel intact.  Scoop out pulp, using spoon to loosen pulp from peel, and reserve 2 tablespoons lime juice for granità.  Set lime cups aside.  Stir together sugar and water in small saucepan; heat to boiling.  Cool slightly.  Place watermelon in container of food processor; pulse to puree watermelon.  Place colander over bowl; pour pureed watermelon into colander to strain out seeds, forcing watermelon through with back of spoon, if needed.  Stir reserved lime juice and cooled sugar mixture into pureed watermelon.  Pour into 12x9x2 inch pan; freeze until firm, about 4 hours.  To serve, scrape frozen watermelon mixture with spoon to make granità.  Stir in currants for “seeds.”  Mound granità in lime cups; serve on bed of crushed ice. Makes 12 servings.

Granità preparation time:  25 minutes
Freezing time:  4 hours
Per serving:  119 calories, 31g carbohydrate, 1g protein, 0.5g fat, 2g dietary fiber, 4mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol


 WATERMELON PEACOCK

Use as a centerpiece or fill with your favorite salad, salsa or dessert.  Refer to photograph for placement of lines and fruit.
1 evenly shaped watermelon
21 slices kiwifruit (each 1/2 in. thick) 18 blueberries
7 green grapes
14 red grapes
7 bamboo skewers (each 10-12 inches long)
4 wooden picks

If necessary, cut a think slice from one end of the watermelon so it sits level.  Stand watermelon upright.

Draw a straight line (about 1/3 of the watermelon’s length above the level end) around the watermelon for the peacock’s edge.

Draw the peacock’s head and neck above the straight line.

On the opposite side, draw a half circle “tail base” above the straight line.

Cut and remove the top section of watermelon, leaving the head, neck and tail base intact.

Scoop out the flesh from inside the watermelon, leaving just a trace of red.

Alternate kiwifruit, blueberries and grapes on bamboo skewers as shown in photograph.  Insert skewers into tail base in fan shape.

Use wooden picks to attach blueberries to head for eye and crest.

 

For more delicious recipes, visit the National Watermelon Promotion Board.