In the Pink: Let’s Talk Watermelon

The nicest slice for summer? Watermelon, of course. This half vegetable-half fruit isn’t just fun. It’s good for you, too.

photo-by-adam-larkey

SUMMERTIME SPECIAL Refresh yourself with the watermelon salad at Stoic & Genuine. Photo by Adam Larkey

The gentle giant of the produce section, watermelon lives up to its name. The big guy is more than 90 percent water, with one large slice providing 8 ounces of H2O. And even though most folks buy it for its flavor, watermelon is packed with nutrients: It actually contains more concentrated lycopene than raw tomatoes, is loaded with electrolytes and is also a good source of an amino acid that protects against muscle pain. So have a slice after an intense summer softball or tennis game, and you’ll be ready to go again.

WATERMELON SALAD
Courtesy Stoic & Geniune chef Gabe Wyman
Yield: ¾ cup

VINAIGRETTE INGREDIENTS
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
¼ cup white soy sauce (shoyu)
¼ cup sugar

SALAD INGREDIENTS
Watermelon skinned and cut into 1-inch cubes (enough to provide 7 to 10 cubes per salad)
1 tablespoon balsamic white soy vinaigrette
½ tablespoon shallot, sliced into 1/16-inch rings and soaked in ice water
8 small pieces shaved Virginia ham, fried
½ tablespoon micro basil

DIRECTIONS
TO MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE: Pour all ingredients into a pan and reduce on low heat until dime-size bubbles are formed; take off heat and cool in ice bath.

TO MAKE THE SALAD: Place all items except basil in a bowl and toss with dressing. Garnish with micro basil.

WATERMELON CAIPIRINHA
Courtesy Hopdoddy Burger Bar

INGREDIENTS
1 lime
2 teaspoons raw sugar
5 slices quarter-sized ginger
6 large fresh tarragon leaves
2 ounces watermelon
2 ounces Whistling Hare rum
1 ounce pomegranate grenadine Garnishes: sugar, fresh lime wedge

DIRECTIONS
Squeeze fresh lime juice into a glass. Place raw sugar, sliced ginger, tarragon and watermelon in the glass and muddle. Add rum and pomegranate grenadine; stir using a bar spoon. Pour into a sugar-rimmed rocks glass and garnish with a fresh lime wedge.

HOW TO PICK AND WASH A WATERMELON

1. EYEBALL IT. Look for one that is firm, symmetrical and free from bruises, dents or cuts.
2. TURN IT OVER. The underside should have a creamy yellow spot (“the ground spot”) where it sat on the ground while ripening.
3. PICK IT UP. Whoa—it should feel surprisingly heavy for its size.
4. CLEAN IT. Rinse with cold water, then scrub with a produce brush. Dry with paper towels.

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