There are few summer pastimes more satisfying than nibbling a cool slice of watermelon right down to the rind. And while we completely support enjoying the juicy, low-calorie pink fruit in its raw, unadulterated form, we can also get behind soups, salads and desserts that highlight its incredible range and versatility. From sweet shaved ice to spicy watermelon gazpacho, here are seven fresh uses for that ripe watermelon chilling in your fridge.
Gingery Watermelon Petit Fours
Looking for a lighter alternative to quench your after-dinner sweet tooth? Try dousing juicy watermelon squares in a ginger syrup, then letting the watermelon soak for a few hours before topping each square with a dollop of honey-laced cream cheese.
Watermelon-Raspberry Breakfast Pops
The beauty of these 110-calorie ice pops is that they’re healthy enough for breakfast but indulgent enough for dessert. Simply combine watermelon and raspberries — in our opinion, two of summer’s finest fruits — with coconut milk (for richness) and lime juice (for tartness) in your blender. Once frozen, they can be rolled in toasted coconut or cocoa nibs for added flavor.
While we can’t wholeheartedly label alcoholic beverages “healthy,” we think this thirst-quenching sangria is one of the better options to reach for the next time the need for a buzz arises. The combination of orange liqueur and cold rosé amplifies the vibrant pinkish hue — and the extra fiber you get from the pureed watermelon and strawberries? Consider it a bonus.
Tomato and Watermelon Salad
The combination of juicy beefsteak tomatoes and sweet cherry tomatoes creates a fresh base for ripe, cubed watermelon. You’ll want to use cold, cut-up watermelon straight from the refrigerator — but whatever you do, don’t chill the tomatoes. According to Alex Guarnaschelli, “The contrast of temperatures will give the salad an extra-fresh taste.”
Tyler Florence’s summer spin on classic tomato gazpacho is equal parts savory, sweet and spicy. Top each bowl with feta cheese, dill and a few juicy cubes of watermelon for restaurant-worthy presentation.
There are few salads more refreshing than this hyperseasonal medley of watermelon and cucumber. Toss in some chopped cashews and goat cheese crumbles for a well-rounded side dish. You can even use it as a sweet-and-salty slaw on top of fish or chicken tacos.
Let this three-ingredient granita stand as a testament to the simple, laid-back feel of summer dining. Rake off a few spoonfuls of the fruity ice to enjoy after dinner. There’s no need to feel guilty about it either: One serving contains just 143 calories.
Don’t stop there. Check out more refreshing watermelon recipes from our friends:
Creative Culinary: Watermelon Mint Cooler
Devour: 6 Sweet Ways to Booze Up Your Watermelon
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Watermelon & Mixed Berry Pizza
Swing Eats: Watermelon with Feta, Mint, Olive Oil, and Sea Salt
FN Dish: All the Ways You Can Spike Fresh Watermelon