Thursday, July 12, 2012

Watermelon for Dinner

We've been eating a boatload of watermelon around here. I mean, we just can't get enough of it. It's easy finger food, perfect for all the swim parties we've been hosting. I buy one a week, slice it, platter it up and we have a pool full of very happy snackers.

Lately, the afternoon heat has left us wanting little else, even for dinner. But what we originally bought as snack food begs for a little something extra to make it a proper meal.

Here are three alternative preparations to this summertime favorite that we've been using to bolster each bite.

The warmth of the grill really revs up the sugars. But sliced up thick, the texture almost mimics fish or a juicy steak. I like it tossed in a salad with my favorite dressing. Be sure to season both sides generously and if possible opt for a crustier sea salt.

If you frequent Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, you will certainly find a bottle easy to come by, but you can buy a ready-to-drizzle, bottled balsamic reduction in most regular grocery stores these days.  Got a bottle of good old fashioned balsamic vinegar and some honey laying around? It's also easy to make your own. The deepened tang of the vinegar interacts nicely with the sugary crunch of ice cold watermelon.

This is perhaps my favorite preparation of late and there are a lot of variations you could do here. Drizzle watermelon slices with chili oil or sprinkle them with pico de gallo seasoning. I mix up a blend of chili and french sea salts and then sprinkle it generously on top of cubes. Feeling like something a little spicier? Grab one of those peppers you've been growing on your patio, dice it up and throw it on top. The cold juice of the watermelon will help put out that fire you started in your mouth.

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