The Summer of Loving Watermelon

They’re starting to show up everywhere. They’re the sure sign that summer is in full-swing.  They’re watermelons. They’re grown commercially in 44 states — with Florida, Georgia and Texas ranking among the top. The largest watermelon on record weighed in at 119 lbs.  That’s a lot of fruit salad! There are more than 1,200 varieties. They consist of 6% sugar, 91% water and 100% deliciousness which makes them perfect in so many recipes. With a little creativity, you can serve watermelon in ways that will surprise, impress and please.

Here are three ways to serve up watermelon at your next backyard blowout:

Hot
Wow watermelon lovers with this unconventional and delicious treat: grilled watermelon. It’s quick and simple and takes less than 10 minutes to make. Cut your melon into 1 – 1 ½” slices and throw them on the grill. Grill each side about 2 – 3 minutes, turning 90° once about hallway through time for great grill marks. Serve it with a drizzle of balsamic glaze, feta cheese crumbles and fresh basil.

Cold
Have fun and make watermelon the star of any summer get-together. Slice watermelon into 1” slices. Now, find your cookie cutters and grab all the stars. Use them to cut stars from the slices. Serve them on a plate with a little sprinkle of salt. Or add them to your favorite fruit salad recipe and enjoy the stars – and stripes – this Fourth of July.

Drink
So far we’ve done a lot of eating. You could probably use a drink. An adult drink. No worries. We’ve got you covered. Toast the summer with this Watermelon Vodka Lemonade!

What you’ll need
8 cups watermelon flesh (frozen)
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
¾ cup sugar
12oz vodka (use lemon or watermelon flavored vodka if you like)
2 cups water

What you’ll do
Cut up 8 cups of seedless watermelon and freeze for2-4 hours.

When watermelon is ready, place all ingredients in blender and blend until the consistency of a slushy. Serve it in your favorite tumbler with a slice of lemon and small slice of watermelon.

PJ Butland