Wildly wonderful watermelon! Bittman serves it up 4 ways

Who knew watermelon could be enjoyed in so many ways? Here, food writer Mark Bittman shows how to use the refreshing fruit in salads, soups, slushy drinks and even in ice cubes.

Watermelon salad with bacon vinaigrette

Ingredients

    • 3 cups watermelon, cubed
    • 3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
    • 1/3 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed
    • 4 ounces bacon
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 medium shallot, chopped
    • Splash, sherry vinegar
    • Black pepper
    • Basil (garnish)

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a large bowl combine 3 cups cubed watermelon, 3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped, and 1/3 cup cubed mozzarella.  For the vinaigrette, render 4 ounces chopped bacon in olive oil until crisp. Add some chopped shallot, a splash of sherry vinegar, and lots of black pepper. Toss with the watermelon and tomatoes. Garnish with fresh basil.

Spicy Thai watermelon soup with crab

Ingredients

    • 1 small watermelon (3 pounds)
    • 2 ripe tomatoes
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 hot chili (like Thai or serrano), minced and seeded
    • Fish sauce (to taste)
    • Ice cubes
    • 1 cup lump crab meat
    • Cilantro (garnish)

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Peel 1 small watermelon (about 3 pounds) and cut the flesh into large chunks. Put them in a food processor along with 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 tablespoons lime juice, salt and pepper and add minced fresh hot chili (like Thai or serrano), and fish sauce (both to taste). Pulse the mixture, adding a few ice cubes, one at a time, if necessary to get the machine going. Chill in the fridge.After pouring the soup into bowls, top with a small mound of lump or jumbo lump crab meat. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Watermelon granita

Ingredients

    • 1 pound watermelon
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Cut about 1 pound watermelon into small chunks. Use the blender. Use 2 tablespoons lemon juice; blend until the mixture liquefies. Pour the mixture into a shallow glass or ceramic pan and freeze, for about 2 hours, breaking up the ice crystals with a fork every 30 minutes or so. It should be slushy and crunchy.

Lemonade with watermelon ice cubes

Ingredients

    • 1/2 small watermelon (1 1/2 pounds)
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup sugar
    • Lemonade

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Put 1 cup each water and sugar in a small saucepan over high heat. Boil until the sugar dissolves and cool. Peel half a small watermelon (about 1 1/2 pounds) and cut the flesh into large chunks. Put them in a blender and purée until smooth. Pour the purée through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. Combine the juice with the chilled syrup. Pour the strained watermelon into an ice cube tray (plastic, not silicon), and freeze until solid.Make lemonade (to your specifications), using the simple syrup to sweeten it, and adding vodka to make it boozy if you like. Serve in glasses over the watermelon ice cubes.

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