Friday, June 29, 2007

Watermelon with lime and mint

Tomorrow is a friend's annual July Fourth bash, a blow-out event with more than 100 people on the "yes, I will attend!" list. I'm taking my oh-so-fabulous-yet-simple watermelon salad. It will not feed 100, but should make a dozen or more happy.

First you need a large watermelon, and a melon baller. Did I lose you right there? No, you don't need a melon baller unless you're really ambitious, or have a passel of kids willing to help out (in which case, I suggest two large watermelons, since there will invariably be some sampling).

I've found it's easiest to just put a flexible cutting board in the bottom of the sink, slice the melon in rounds, cut the meat out of the slice in one piece and then zip zip zip with the knife left to right and top to bottom for bite-sized pieces. Doing it in the sink means clean-up is simple and you don't get watermelon juice all over the counter. The melon also tends to squirt when you're slicing it. Sticky!

You also need the juice of some limes, four or five.

And some fresh mint. A big bunch of it. If you do not have mint in your garden (and you should, if you have a garden), go plant some. While you're waiting for it to get big enough to start beating up on all the neighboring plants and taking their lunch money (about three days), ask your friends, neighbors or co-workers for some. Their gardens will thank you.
The watermelon rinds will look all artistic in your sink, even if the light is bad because it's the middle of the night.
The squeezed limes are also attractive in an undersea-creature or popular-cleaning-product-mascot kind of way.
You can chop the mint by hand (my former method), or use a food processor if you're really lucky and have moved to a house where there's not only a dishwasher but enough counter space to keep your heavy food processor handy instead of stored in the basement and never used because it's such a pain in the ass to haul it out.
Add the lime juice and mint to the watermelon and let it all steep in the fridge for a day or two, stirring occasionally. Resist the temptation to eat it all yourself once you've tasted it. The combination of flavors ends up being subtle and surprising. And suprisingly delicious!


  1. LOVED your directions!! Too funny. I have to try this - it sounds really good - and different from how we usually eat watermelon (you know - pass the salt and a paper towel)

  2. This looks like a solid recipe. I like watermelon recipes and I recently made one that is stellar! Chile-Roasted Feta and Watermelon Slab