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Grilled Watermelon Salad
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
1 medium watermelon, approximately 8 pounds
2 medium shallot, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
4 ounces feta cheese
4 ounces cured black olives, such as kalamata
½ cup fresh mint leaves
Black Pepper, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
Heat a Panini press or gas grill to high.
Remove the each end of the watermelon. Stand the watermelon on either end and slice away the rind on each of the four sides, creating a solid rectangle of melon. Turn the block on its side and cut it into 6 squares, roughly 3 by 3 inches and 1-inch thick.
Toss the shallots with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Grill the shallots for 2 to 3 minutes until softened and charred. Remove the grilled shallots to a small bowl and coat with the sherry vinegar.
Brush the watermelon in the remaining olive oil on each side. On a grill, grill until marked and warm, 5 to 7 minutes. On a Panini press grill for 10 to 12 minutes or until marked and warm.
Place the grilled square on a plate, top with the shallots, crumbled feta, olives, and mint. Season with additional salt and pepper as desired.
Watermelon Rind Pickles
Yield: 2 quarts
Rind from a watermelon 5 pound watermelon, approximately 2 pounds
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 ounces candied or crystalized ginger chunks (1/4 cup)
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flake
1 teaspoon allspice berries
1 star anise pod
Scoop out melon leaving about 1/4-1/2 inch of red flesh.
Peel off outer green with vegetable peeler and then cut into 1-inch cubes.
Bring the apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, ginger, salt and spices to a boil over medium high heat in a medium saucepan (2-quart). Hold the boil for 60 seconds then carefully add the watermelon. Return to a boil and turn off the heat. Remove the pan from the heat and cool for 30 minutes.
Move the pickles to a 2-quart jar using a canning funnel and ladle. Pour on as much of the pickling juice as possible. Cover the jar and leave at room temperature for another 1 and half hours.
Refrigerate overnight and consume within a month. This pickles must be refrigerated.
Great as a side with grilled dishes or as salad tossed with crispy, crumbled bacon and served over greens.
Yield 1 quart, approximately 8 servings
1 1/2 pounds watermelon
9 ounces sugar
3 tablespoons Campari
1 tablespoon lime zest, from one lime
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Use a blender or food processor to finely puree the melon. Add the Campari, lime zest, lime juice, sugar, and salt and process another 30 seconds
Move to an airtight container and chill 1 hour.
Churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions then return to the airtight container to harden in freezer 3 to 4 hours before serving.
Serve a scoop in a glass of prosecco with a twist of lime for an instant summer cocktail.