Summer’s Best Juicy Sweet Watermelon

One thing I love about July–other than celebrating the 4th of July, and my birthday the following day–is savoring a sweet, juicy watermelon. :)

Last night I did my shopping for our 4th of July small get-together, buying the largest seedless watermelon I could find.

But how exactly do you know if it’s a good watermelon?

We’ve all had “unripe” watermelon – yucky! And so disappointing when you’re all excited to serve it to your guests and you cut it open, only to be really bummed. You can just tell.

How to buy a ripe watermelon:

-Look for a melon that looks good, meaning free of dents, bruises, cuts, etc.

-Look for a heavy melon. Watermelons should be heavy for their size (mostly made up of water).

-Check under the melon. If it has a yellow or light bottom, it should be ripe. If it’s stripes are found all around the melon, it’s not ready yet.

-When you tap a watermelon to check for a hollowing sound, that means it’s ripe. No hollowness – unripe.

I found some yummy recipes on BHG site, and also some great ideas from their latest July 2012 magazine.

Watermelon recipe ideas:

1. Grilled with a kick – Cut watermelon into 1-inch thick slices. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and grill over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes each side (flesh should look slightly caramelized). Serve grilled slices with a squeeze of lime and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

2. Sauteed, with shrimp – In a large skillet, saute shrimp in olive oil 2-4 minutes, until no longer pink. Transfer to a bowl. In the same skillet, cook cubes of watermelon with a little water about 3 minutes until the liquid reduces slightly. Remove from heat and pour over shrimp. Add chopped cucumber, feta, and a handful of oregano or basil. Drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.

3. In a salad, with avocado – Remove rind and cut watermelon into thin strips. Toss with slices of avocado and this slices of red onion. Serve over watercress or other small-leaf lettuce. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Great ideas, but the very best way?

Cut into large slices; eat and enjoy. Learn to savor the simplicity and sweetness on a hot July day.

Even if it drips down your chin. :)

Will you be serving watermelon for the 4th of July?

7 comments on “Summer’s Best Juicy Sweet Watermelon”

  1. Hope you had a great Birthday! I love watermelon! I am always happy to partake in eating it. In the past I have enjoyed it with feta cheese. This year I have a spearmint plant and going to try making a simple syrup with them to drizzle over the melon.

  2. I hope there’s a big chilled watermelon at the party we’re going to tomorrow!! We’re bringing a couple quarts of homemade PB ice cream. :)

  3. I like to keep melon ice cold in the fridge already cut up into chunks. That way my melon is always ready for a quick, healthy snack. I do the same with slices of cucumber and thin celery slices.

  4. Happy birthday a few days early! I have a granddaughter who is five days overdue. I believe she’s going to make a 4th of July appearance, but she may hold out for your birthday. ;)

  5. Yes, watermelon is part of the 4th for our family. We love it and serve it as often as possible all summer. Happy holiday to your family and happy birthday to you, Sandy!

  6. I didn’t know that part about the stripes! Good to know! And the avocado with it sounds yummy!

    I have a fridge full of watermelon these days- it’s my current go-to snack when I need something sweet and refreshing!

  7. Yum! Nothing says summer like watermelon. Recently had a salad with watermelon, honeydew, cherry tomatoes and cucumber dressed with a light balsamic. It was delicious.

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