We are at the peak of watermelon season and I am loving it! My husband buys a large watermelon, almost, every week. Some slices end up in the freezer. They are way better than any sugar filled popsicle (with no yucky food coloring). It’s great because you can walk by and easily grab a few pieces. I also saw online that someone made melon balls and rolled them in red gelatin then froze them. I haven’t tried these but imagine they are similar to frozen grapes. Maybe instead of gelatin you can use a superfine or sanding sugar.
Occasionally, I do run into a too big watermelon and the waste kills me. So this year I have been working on ways to use up watermelon. Some of the great ways I’ve tried include:
Watermelon Bruschetta, I used the slices as my crostini and topped with burrata and whatever fresh herb I had available. The tarragon was a knockout with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and olive oil with a pinch of flaky sea salt. I made a watermelon gazpacho, inspired by a Tyler Florence recipe, that you an find online. I went with sweeter undertones and used Vidalia onion and White Balsamic Vinegar. I also used tarragon again here instead of dill. I have a lot of tarragon in my garden this summer.
The two standouts for me I share below. One is a Watermelon Sangria and the other is Watermelon Guacamole. The Sangria is SO refreshing and the guacamole is surprising. I love the texture that watermelon brings. It’s crispy like jicama and adds a sweetness too. The Cotija cheese sprinkles on top add the perfect saltiness, too.
Please let me know how you like, your successes and failures. Enjoy!
Before I go to deep into this recipe, let me tell you I often use store bought Pico de Gallo in place of the cilantro & jalapeño and onion. It's up to you because of the tomato, but it works just fine. Then you can just adjust your salt & pepper.
Cut avocado in half and remove seed. Scoop the flesh into medium bowl, Smash with a fork until desired consistency. I like mine a little chunky.
Add the onion, cilantro, jalapeño and lime juice and stir well. Fold in watermelon and adjust seasoning with salt & pepper. Garnish with feta. Serve with tortilla chips.
If you don’t speak Spanish, that is try something new! Cinco de Mayo is this week and most of us are planning some sort of celebration, especially here in California. A quintessential ingredient for any Mexican fiesta is Guacamole. By definition guacamole is avocado sauce, but it has been americanized over time and is more a dip than a sauce.
There are lots of really good remade guacamoles on the market. I propose that if you have any time at all that you try something new and make it yourself. I get constant compliments on my “homemade” guacamole and I have an excellent shortcut. I use store bought pico de gallo!
The basic components of guacamole are avocados, lime juice and sea salt. That’s about all my kids would want in it. My version is a little more complex but you can totally jazz it up. Pico de gallo (pico) is chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeños and cilantro. It’s pretty easy to see where the variations and creativity start to play.
I like my guacamole on the chunky side so all I need is a fork and bowl. You can use a molcajete, which is basically a Mexican mortar and pestle. If you like a really smooth guacamole, you can use a blender or food processor.
I smash my avocados but leave them somewhat chunky. Then I add about 2 tablespoons of pico per avocado and mix it well. I continue to add the juice of half a lime and even some reserve juice from the pico. I add sea or kosher salt, a little at a time. DON’T over salt. Boom! You’re done.
As I said earlier, there are all sorts of ways to get creative. You can add cotija cheese or more heat. Garlic is a nice addition too. If you don’t like cilantro, use mexican oregano or basil. I found a couple of ideas online that sound great, too. Try adding sour cream for a creamier guacamole with a little tang. I love the idea of adding toasted nuts for some crunch. A traditional nut would be pepitas, but use your favorite. If you want a smoky flavor, try roasting your tomato and jalapeño before chopping them. Most importantly, make it your own and enjoy!