The easiest way to eat watermelon might be to dive right in with your hands and teeth. But that’s not the only way. Whether you’re in the mood for naturally sweet skewers, spicy salsa or a boozy watermelon cocktail, it’s time to take this low-calorie fruit to creative new heights. Did we mention this mega-sized melon is rich in vitamins A and C and antioxidants such as lycopene? Summer just got a whole lot more interesting. Dig in!
1. Watermelon, Goat Cheese and Pistachio Cubes
This appetizer takes some precision, but it more than pays off in presentation. Cubed watermelon and a smooth layer of goat cheese make the base, while chopped pistachios, shaved red onion and a balsamic vinegar reduction complete the sweet and savory creation. Photo and Recipe: Joanne / Fifteen Spatulas
2. Boozy Watermelon Mint Lemonade
This hot pink drink is sure to beat the heat with thirst-quenching watermelon and cucumber (both known for their high water content). Amplify the summery flavor with fresh mint leaves and fresh lemon juice. Serve as a virgin lemonade, or booze it up with rum or vodka for a creative cookout cocktail. Photo and Recipe: Morgan / Host the Toast
3. Sweet and Spicy Watermelon Salsa
Chips and salsa are a fixture at any summer barbeque, but there’s nothing better than a fresh, homemade version rather than the soupy jarred stuff. Though watermelon takes the place of tomatoes, all the other standard salsa fixings make an appearance — red onion, fresh cilantro, cucumber, red pepper and jalapeno pepper. Choose whole-wheat or multigrain chips for a healthier dipper. Photo and Recipe: Christy / Girl Who Ate Everything
4. Radish, Watermelon and Bulgar Wheat Salad
If you’ve never heard of bulgar, it’s a Middle Eastern grain high in fiber and protein. This bulgar-based salad involves minimal prep work, but it’s got a whole lot of goodness going on. Celery, pumpkin seeds and radish provide some crunch, while lemon zest and lime juice add a touch of sour to the star of the dish: watermelon. Photo and Recipe: Aine Carlin/ Marcus Samuelsson
5. Grilled Watermelon and Tomatoes
Kick the classic Caprese up a notch with a grill and some watermelon. Before layering slices of tomato and mozzarella and drizzling on the balsamic vinegar, pop watermelon circles (use the top of an empty can or a circular cookie cutter) and tomato slices onto a heated grill to bring out both fruits’ utmost flavor. Photo and Recipe: Liz McAvoy / What Dress Code?
6. Watermelon Frosty
Watermelon for dessert? Count us in! Like a Wendy’s “Frosty” gone fruity, this version blends frozen watermelon and frozen banana with lime juice, honey and mint. So break out the blender, and prepare to take this frozen drink poolside (pitchers encouraged). Photo and Recipe: Gina / Running to the Kitchen