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Watermelon originated in southern Africa, where it spread to China,

Europe and by the 16th century, to Native Americans.  There is no

better way to say hello to summer than with this delicious fruit.  Plus,

they are high in Vitamin C, and contain lycopene - an important anti

cancer chemical - and beta carotene.  While often simply sliced open

and eaten, watermelon has found a new home in salad, soup, and

smoothie recipes, such as the ones below.



Watermelon Cheese Salad

16 ounces watermelon, chunks cut into 1-inch cubes

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil


Cut watermelon into 1-inch chunks.  Divide watermelon between 4 salad plates.  Sprinkle watermelon with salt and feta cheese and drizzle with olive oil to serve.  You can also prepare this in a large bowl - maybe even inside the hollowed out watermelon itself - and have guests serve themselves!



Watermelon, Pineapple and Pecan Salad

1 tablespoon lime rind, grated

2/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup light rum (optional)

2 pineapple, cored and cut into chunks (or 3-4 20 oz cans)

1 ripe basketball-size watermelon, remove black seeds and cut into chunks (about 7-8 cups)

1/2 cup pecan halves or 1/2 cup pine nuts, chopped and toasted


In a large bowl, mix the rind, juice, sugar, and rum together.  Add pineapple and watermelon.  Toss gently to coat. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.  Sprinkle with nuts just before serving.



Peach Watermelon Sangria Sorbet

2 medium peaches, cored and peeled

2 1/2 lbs piece watermelon, seeds and rind removed

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup semi-dry rose wine, blush wine, pink Zinfandel, Riesling (or any slightly sweet wine of your choice)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger


In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved and liquid is completely clear, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.


Cut the peaches and watermelon into 2" chunks and puree in a food processor or blender. Add grated ginger and lemon juice. Pour into an airtight container and add the wine and cooled sugar water, and stir. Chill in a refrigerator 2 hours.


Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow your machine's instructions for making sorbet. Freeze in an airtight container about 1 hour or so before serving to set the sorbet. OR Alternatively if you do not have an ice cream maker, place the airtight container in the freezer for 2 hours and every half hour stir it all up vigorously. Then let set an hour after that 4th stir. It won't be as smooth as with the machine, but just as delicious.



Watermelon Salsa

2 cups chopped seeded watermelon

3/4 cup chopped sweet onion

3/4 cup rinsed and drained black beans

1/4 cup chopped and seeded jalapeno

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt


Stir together all ingredients in bowl.  Refrigerate covered 1-2 hours to blend flavors.  Stir and serve with Tostito-style corn chips.



Watermelon and Cucumber Gazpacho

1 (3 lb) seedless watermelon, diced, divided (about 5 cups)

1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)

1 medium red bell pepper, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)

1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)

1 small jalapeno chile, seeded, minced

3 inner celery ribs, diced (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 small red onion, diced (about 1 cup)

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup creme fraiche or 1/2 cup sour cream


Puree 4 cups watermelon in blender until smooth.  Transfer puree to large bowl.   Add remaining 1 cup diced watermelon and next 10 ingredients; stir to combine.


Cover gazpacho and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.


Divide gazpacho among bowls and top with dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream.






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