What's In Season: WatermelonAug 26, 2020 01:40PM ● By Pam Kessler
Perfect for a hot day, watermelons are mostly water — about 92 percent — but this refreshing fruit is also soaked with nutrients. Each juicy bite has significant levels of vitamins A, B6, and C, lycopene, antioxidants, and amino acids. It's also fat-free, low in sodium, and only 40 calories per cup. Here are some tips and recipes for preparing this delicious crop.
A ripe melon should be heavy for its size. Choose one that has a solid sound when thumped and a yellow patch on one side of it. This indicates it was left on the vine to ripen, so it will be the sweetest. Wash the whole melon before cutting, and once cut, keep the fruit refrigerated in a sealed container for up to three days.
GRILLED WATERMELON SALAD
By Contra Costa Certified Farmers’ Market/Sunday’s Downtown
1 small watermelon, about 6 pounds
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
Salt & pepper
6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
Directions: Cut watermelon into one-inch slices, remove seeds, and rind. Use a basting brush to coat slices with olive oil. Place on a hot grill for two minutes per side or until grill marks form. Top salad greens with grilled melon, mozzarella, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste.
MELON & MINT SALAD
By Diablo Valley Farmers’ Market/Saturday's at Shadelands
½ large watermelon or one small, cut into one-inch cubes
Juice of 2-3 limes
½ bunch of mint, chopped into ribbons, plus whole sprigs for garnish
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. sugar or honey
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
Directions: Whisk together lime juice, salt, and honey or sugar. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Toss remaining ingredients together, add to dressing, and season to taste. Garnish with mint sprigs. Serve immediately.
SAVORY MELON SALAD
By Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association
1 cup watermelon, cubes or balls
1 cup cantaloupe, cubes or balls
1 cup sliced cucumber
1/4 cup of olives, pitted and sliced
6 ounces feta, hand crumbled
Olive oil to taste
Champagne vinegar or lemon juice to taste
Balsamic to taste
1 shallot, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Mint leaves to taste
Directions: Combine watermelon and cantaloupe cubes, olives, cucumber, feta, and shallots in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, vinegar, and balsamic. Season with salt and pepper; mix gently. Garnish with mint leaves.