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.
For more fun watermelon facts and recipes visit the Watermelon Board on their Facebook page and Twitter.
- 1 cup semi-pearled or whole farro, cooked
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups cubed watermelon
- 8 ounces halloumi cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
- grapeseed or canola oil
- 8 bamboo skewers
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
- balsamic vinegar
- Cook the farro according to the packages directions (if using whole farro, you will need to soak it for 25 minutes prior to cooking).
- Drain and add back to the pot. Stir in the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside
- If using an outdoor grill, soak the bamboo skewers so that they will not char.
- Take two skewers and place 2 pieces of watermelon and halloumi cheese on them, alternating between the two.
- Brush the skewers with a little bit of grapeseed or canola oil and grill for about a minute on each side or until char lines appear.
- If using a grill pan, grill on both sides for about two minutes.
- Spoon some of the farro on a plate and top with a skewer of grilled watermelon and halloumi. Sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon of chopped mint and drizzle with a small amount of balsamic vinegar.
If you can't find halloumi cheese, you can substitute it with queso blanco.
I carried a watermelon! – Baby
Love that movie. Also love watermelon, and halloumi, which is so amazing grilled. This dish looks incredible. Can’t wait to try it!
Love that movie too Sarah! Giant watermelons always remind me of that scene.
I still have not tried grilling watermelon! I need to try it, this looks so good!
This is absolutely gorgeous and creative – I am so excited for grilling to start for the season!
Thanks for the tips on how to choose a watermelon. Now’s the perfect time to have that in the back of my mind since I know we’ll be eating a lot of them this summer. I love the grilled melon and cheese over farro. Yum!
I just love this…I want 3 please!
This looks wonderful! I’ve never grilled watermelon (or had halloumi cheese) and this is the recipe that will change all that!
I have grilled a lot of fruit. I love it that way. But never watermelon. I love to try out different and surprise my guests and family. Thank you. More importantly thank you for sharing about picking out watermelon and the way that you slice it. Very informative.
Ok, we always had watermelon for desert. My next BBQ is going to be a surprise for everyone. Tnx for the idea.
Your salad looks so good though! I love that you grilled the watermelon. Watermelon never lasts long enough in my house to make it to the grill.
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