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Walnut Creek Magazine

What's In Season: Watermelon

A symbol of summer, watermelons are mostly water — about 92 percent — but this refreshing fruit is also soaked with nutrients. Each juicy bite contains vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids. Plus, America’s favorite melon is fat-free, low in sodium, and only 40 calories per cup. 

THE LOWDOWN 

A ripe melon should be heavy for its size. Choose one that has a solid sound when thumped. There are many hybrids—some oblong, some dark green, some striped—and flesh ranging from bright fuchsia to pale pink or even yellow. Choose one with 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. Use in salads, make fruit skewers, place wedges on the grill, or just eat a big juicy wedge.

SAVORY MELON SALAD
By Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association
Ingredients:
2 cups watermelon, cubes
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
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 cubes, olives, tomatoes, 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 or basil leaves.
 
WATERMELON & SHRIMP GAZPACHO
By Walnut Creek Yacht Club
Ingredients:
1 med. seedless watermelon, cut in chunks
3 celery stalks, 1dice fine & reserve, 2 cut in chunks
3 cucumbers peeled, 1 dice fine & reserve, 2 cut in chunks
2 green bell pepper, dice ½ of one, cut rest in chunks
2 red bell pepper, dice ½ of one, cut rest in chunks
2 red onion, dice ½ of one, cut rest in chunks
8 cloves garlic, smashed
1 piece torn up bread, size of a sandwich roll
1cup whole almonds, toasted, reserve ¼ cup for garnish
1 Tbsp. salt
1tsp. black pepper                         
½ cup sherry vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 lb. bay shrimp               
 
Directions: Put all the chunky stuff together in a blender. Blend it well to desired consistency. Taste, season & adjust with vinegar, salt & pepper. Refrigerate overnight, season before serving. Fine dice all the rest, mix it all together with shrimp, and mix in to soup. Garnish w/ almonds.
 

GRILLED WATERMELON SALAD

By Contra Costa Certified Farmers’ Market

Ingredients:
1 small watermelon, about 6 pounds
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
Salt & pepper
6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
Salad greens
Balsamic Reduction
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 reduction to taste.
 

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