Monday, 22 August 2011

Watermelon!

Carve a Fish
Clear a space for a nutritional superhero. A big space. Did you know that watermelons have higher levels of lycopene than tomatoes? They are also an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, and C. More importantly, they are a fun, low fat, naturally sweet and refreshing addition to your table. Not only that, but you can carve them into all sorts of fun shapes for presentation. What produce works harder than that?

Carve a Shark
A fruit with a history - watermelons were eaten by the Egyptians over 5000 years ago. They grew in deserts and, as they are naturally rich in water, they were a life-saving fruit for travellers.

Carve a Whale
My grampa taught me to spit the seeds into the grass. Well, he was a farmer after all. Now you can get watermelons with or without seeds, in family or single person sizes, and even in different colours!

Carve a Bat Jack-O'Melon
Farmers plant watermelons in rows 8-12 feet apart as the vines can grow up to 8 feet long! They are picked by hand as they are delicate in nature.
All watermelons have a pale, buttery spot on one side - this is where they rested while they basked in the sun.

Carve an Owl
Check out lots of delicious watermelon recipes at watermelon.org!

Photos and recipes from watermelon.org
Watermelon Havarti Stacks with Dilled Ranch and Grilled Chicken

Ingredients:
8- 1 inch thick 4 inch diameter circles of seedless watermelon
8 slices Havarti cheese
6 grilled chicken breast halves, cooled and julienne across the grain
1 teaspoon or to taste minced fresh dill, stems removed and discarded.
About 1 cup natural low fat ranch dressing
Watermelon & Wine Reduction Drizzle (optional but delicious, see recipe below)

Instructions:
On 4 serving plates, place one round of watermelon in the center of each plate. Trim the cheese into the same size circle as the watermelon and place one cheese round on each of the four plated slices of watermelon. Repeat with another piece of watermelon and then the remaining cheese.

Clump the julienne chicken in even portions on top of the watermelon cheese stacks. Stir the fresh dill into the ranch dressing. Garnish watermelon chicken stacks with dressing and an attractive drizzle of the Watermelon & Wine Reduction.

Servings:
Makes 4 servings.

Watermelon & Wine Reduction Drizzle

Ingredients:
8 cups watermelon puree
1 cup inexpensive red balsamic vinegar
1 cup red wine
3 cups sugar in the raw
1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions:

Stir all ingredients together well in a heavy stainless steel pot over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to slow boil, stirring occasionally, until contents are 1/3 the volume than when the boiling began. Cool. Refrigerate in a food-safe squirt bottle and use over grilled anything, greens, goat cheese, etc. Makes 3 to 4 cups, which lasts up to 30 days in the refrigerator. Bring to room temp to use.