Chilled Watermelon

Nothing screams, "It's summer!" quite like watermelon. Once it's warm, it's constantly on sale at the market and I'm always craving it.

So, this whole week is going to be dedicated to this gorgeous fruit.
And today, we'll start with how to break down a melon.
1 ripe watermelon
sharp knife
melon baller
large bowl (non-metal)

First things first, you have to pick a ripe melon. I look for three things when I'm choosing a watermelon:
  1. I pick it up and make sure it feels nice and heavy, a little heavy for its size, and then I roll the whole thing around in my hands to make sure there aren't any soft spots and that the rind is v. firm.
  2. I look for a yellow spot, which indicates that the melon wasn't moved around or picked until it was nice and ripe. The yellow spot is the part of the melon that was sitting on the ground and hasn't gone green because of the lack of sun exposure. It should be a pastel yellow.
  3. I give it a good knock with a closed fist and make sure it thumps and that my fist bounces off.
It's easy to cut the melon into wedges if you're serving them to a big crowd. However, if you're just trying to cut up the watermelon to snack on over the course of a few days (which is what often happens in our house) I like to cut it into chunks for ease of eating.

Lately though, I've been hacking into the melon with a melon baller because it keeps the rind in tact (which allows me to use the rind as a bowl) and secondly, it makes for a pretty presentation.

So, start by hacking the watermelon in half. Make sure the knife is v. sharp and that you have a little height over your board and the melon to give yourself some leverage.
Once the watermelon is sliced open, take to it with a melon baller and start scooping. Pop the melon balls into a bowl.
Once the melon's completely scooped, pour the melon balls right back into the melon rind, slap on a piece of cling film, and pop it in to the fridge for future consumption. When the melon is being melon-balled, it actually generates a lot of juice, which I just decant into a glass and drink immediately. Or, I add the extra juice to a bowl of scrappy pieces of watermelon and make watermelon juice in a blender.
If you're planning on serving this to a crowd - perhaps at a lovely outdoor picnic or party - pop a mint sprig on top to make for a pretty presentation.
This is just the start of watermelon week so come back everyday for some yummy recipes and a couple of cocktails.



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