In the Kitchen

5 Creative Ways to Enjoy Watermelon This Summer

Nothing quite says “summer” like eating a giant slice of juicy watermelon. It’s a barbecue staple that brings people of all ages together in the form of dripping chins and leftover seeds. This year, why not impress your guests with some fancy twists on the classic treat? From sweet and spicy gazpacho to slushy cocktails, you’re bound to find a new favorite.

Feel a little daunted by the first step of breaking down the watermelon? Not to fear, there are a few shortcuts to get the perfect cubes. Using a serrated knife, halve the watermelon. Then, cut each half from one stem side to the other. Take one of the pieces and make vertical “slices” all the way through, but leave the rind intact. From there you can slice long ways again, which creates a cross-hatch pattern on the fruit and leaves you with evenly distributed cubes. Repeat this on the remaining three large pieces.

Gazpacho

This version of gazpacho calls for watermelon paired with traditional tomatoes. Buttermilk is added for a creamier base, and habanero and poblano chiles provide a spicy kick. Garnish with crab salad and don’t anticipate leftovers.

Popsicles

Lime juice, honey and melon naturally sweeten these three-ingredient popsicles for a healthy snack that can be enjoyed any time of day. Recipe can be found here.

With Chili Powder

Chili powder on watermelon is traditionally eaten in Mexico, and though it may sound unusual, once you try it this way, you may never go back. Simply cube a few cups of watermelon and toss with chili powder, salt and lime. Try experimenting with variations such as chipotle chile, aleppo, tajin (a combination of chile flakes, lime zest and salt) or cayenne. Other fruits and veggies like mango and cucumber are also enjoyed this way. Get the recipe here.

Salad with Feta, Mint and Chaat Masala

This salad from Plated’s own Chef Elana is a great appetizer for a summer party. The chaat masala and mint make it both savory and refreshing. Take a look at the recipe here.

Cocktails

Watermelon, vodka and Prosecco are blended together in this boozy summer slushy that appears more complex than it really is. Blend watermelon cubes to create eight ounces of watermelon juice, and combine with 1 ounce of vodka and 2 ounces of Prosecco, and serve in glasses garnished with lime.

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