‘Tis the season for watermelon; the bright red, sweet, and juicy fruit of summer. While there’s nothing better than slicing off a chunk of melon and eating it straight from the rind, this fruit is incredibly versatile and even offers its own serving vessel.
Watermelon is the perfect choice for summer diets as it’s low in calories and packed with lycopene; an antioxidant known to protect against heart disease and certain types of cancer. It can easily be transported in brown bag lunches or taken to the gym for an after-work-out snack.
Watermelon can be added to green leafy salads or combined with other fruits to create a tasty fruit salad. It can be turned into fruit smoothies, frozen into ice cubes, or transformed into a sweet sorbet.
Watermelon is a great option for kids because they love the taste and enjoy spitting out the seeds. Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around watermelon seed spitting contests to see which family member could shoot their seed the farthest.
Watermelon is an exceptional choice for summer picnics, family reunions, and backyard BBQs. It can be sliced into handheld pieces, scooped into balls, formed into a watermelon cake, or cut into decorative designs such as butterflies and flowers.
Watermelon can be transformed into a variety of cocktails including margaritas, martinis, mojitos, and fruit punches. Watermelon cocktails are a refreshing drink choice for summer weddings, beach parties, community block parties, and cookouts.
One of the best resources for watermelon recipes is the National Watermelon Promotion Board website at Watermelon.org. Here you’ll find recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, appetizers, side dishes, entrees, salads, desserts, salsas, sauces, and beverages.
Browse the Entertainment section to learn how to carve a watermelon into art sculptures such as picnic baskets, baby carriages, beach buckets, sea creatures, and animals. Once you learn how to create edible art you’ll never serve watermelon in boring slices or melon balls.
Two of my favorite watermelon recipes include shrimp salad napoleons and watermelon smores. Both take less than 15 minutes to prepare and are perfect for pitch-in dinners and summertime parties.
Shrimp Salad Watermelon Napoleons
Prep Time: 15 minutes
2 cups cooked Salad Shrimp
2/3 cup Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon fresh Dill, lightly chopped
12 Watermelon rounds
4 large Shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 sprigs fresh Dill
1. In a medium sized bowl, combine baby shrimp, mayonnaise and chopped dill. Store in refrigerator while preparing watermelon rounds.
2. Slice watermelon into 12 rounds that are 4-inches round and 1/2-inch thick.
3. Place 1 round on 4 small plates. Top with thin layer of shrimp salad. Top with another watermelon round and add thin layer of shrimp salad. Top with watermelon round and garnish with a large shrimp and fresh dill sprig.
4. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
1 cup Graham Cracker crumbs
1/2 cup Chocolate Fudge sauce
4 slices seedless Watermelon cut into 2″x 4″x 1″ rectangles
1 cup mini Marshmallows
1. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs in the center of 4 dessert plates.
2. Drizzle half teaspoon of chocolate fudge sauce over crumbs.
3. Place a watermelon rectangle on top of chocolate covered crumbs.
4. Drizzle half teaspoon of chocolate fudge sauce over watermelon slices.
5. Add 1/4 cup mini marshmallows to each plate, arranging around crumbs and on top of watermelon rectangles.
6. Drizzle remaining chocolate sauce over marshmallows.
National Watermelon Promotion Board