Memorial Day is just around the corner and do you know what that means?
Break out the white shoes and pants!
Oooh, I’m just teasing, I don’t own white pants. I cook and have a dog, they’d be dirty before I walked out the door.
No. Memorial Day means break out the grills and the watermelons! How can you not associate watermelons with summer? Just picture Baby in Dirty Dancing carrying that giant melon into the staff party. How about that first bite of a giant slice on a hot day with juice dripping down everywhere?
We always had fun with watermelons during the summer as a kid. My dad rocked it with the watermelon carving, creating boats and baskets and filling it with the perfectly sweet flesh. I sometimes got more excited about that slice of watermelon for dessert than ice cream (sometimes).
Heck even Sir Pugsley likes to chow down on some.
I wanted to try watermelon in a new fashion though and with everyone breaking out the grills, why not break out my grill pan?
Watermelon stands up just as well in savory foods as it does in sweet. Herbs love to compliment it, as does salty and briny cheese. Think of it as a less acidic switch for tomatoes. Both are high in lycopene and are great in salads.
Before we get started though, I though I’d share some tips on picking out a perfectly ripe melon and my preferred way to cut it up. After all, you want to be ready to go for all your watermelon needs this summer.
The National Watermelon Board gives 3 great tips on picking out the perfect melon, no matter the size.
First, you want one that’s free from bruises, cuts, symmetrical and firm.
Second, the watermelon should be heavy for its size. Remember the first part of the name watermelon. It’s mostly water, it should be hefty.
Third, flip the melon oven and look for a creamy yellow spot where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.
Once you’ve picked the perfect watermelon you need to carve it. I prefer baby melons, mostly because that’s all the space I have.
- Using a sharp knife cut the top and bottom off to create a flat bottom.
- Remove the rind with your knife, turning the watermelon around. Don’t worry if there is still white rind, you can go back and remove it. Flip the watermelon and get any remaining rind.
- Cut the watermelon in half an cut into slices or dice into cubes as you see fit.