Working Wonders with Watermelon

Sunset, June 1985 | Go to article overview

Working Wonders with Watermelon


Pink, crisp, and cool, watermelon reigns supreme as nature's refreshment in the heat of summer.

As an ingredient, it can also have a stunning impact, as in these three very different dishes: one a surprisingly spicy but simple appetizer; the second, a showy pink sherbet touched with rum; and last, a hearty salad combining smoked chicken, black beans, pink melon, and sweet-tart pickles made from watermelon rind.

Water-melon-Lime Appetizers 1 small (12- to 15-lb. size) watermelon 3/4 cup lime juice Salt About 1/2 teaspoon liquid hot pepper seasoning

Split watermelon in half crossswise, then cut half the melon into 1-inch-thick slices. Cut slices into wedges, with rind side about 2 inches wide. Set unsliced half of watermelon on platter; mound wedges alongside.

Rub the rim of a 1-cup shallow glass or bowl with some of the lime juice. Dip rim in salt to coat. Mix remaining lime juice in the glass with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and liquid hot pepper seasoning. Dip a wedge of watermelon into lime mixture and taste; add more salt and hot pepper seasoning if desired. To eat, dip wedges into lime juice mixture; have a knife at hand to cut remaining melon. Makes about 16 appetizer servings. (To serve 8, start with half a watermelon.)

Watermelon Snow 1 cup water 1/2 cup sugar 1 piece watermelon, 5 to 6 pounds 1/4 cup light or dark rum 1/4 cup lime juice Mint sprigs Lime wedges

In a 1- to 2-quart pan, combine water and sugar. Boil on high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/2 cup. Let cool. Cut watermelon flesh from rind; discard rind. Cut flesh into chunks, discarding seeds. Puree melon, a portion at a time, in a blender or food processor. Rub puree through a fine wire strainer into a bowl; discard any residue. You should have about 6 cups of puree.

Combine puree, syrup, rum, and lime juice. Pour into a 9-inch-square metal pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until solid, 3 to 4 hours. With a heavy spoon, break up frozen mixture. Beat with a mixer or in a food processor until a smooth slush forms. Return to pan, cover, and freeze until solid, at least 3 hours; or store as long as 3 months. Let stand at room temperature until the ice softens enough to scoop, about 15 minutes. Scoop into bowls or stemmed glasses; garnish with mint. Offer lime wedges to squeeze over each portion. Makes about 1-1/2 quarts, about 8 servings.

Watermelon and Smoked Chicken Salad

You can make the watermelon pickles up to 2 weeks ahead, using rind from another watermelon. …

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