You could just grab a watermelon from the top of the pile and carve it into misshaped wedges. Or you could smartly select a perfect melon and serve it with some summertime swag. We like the latter, so we turned to the pros at watermelon.org for tips and techniques on the perfect summertime watermelon recipe.

Watermelon Recipe
Photo courtesy of watermelon.org

How to: Choose a Watermelon. It’s as easy as Look, Lift, and Turn

  1. Look the watermelon over. Keep an eye open for a firm melon without bruises, cuts or dents.
  2. Lift the watermelon up. At more than 90% water, the melon should feel heavy for its size.
  3. Turn the watermelon over. Look for a creamy yellow spot on the underside of the melon ( the “ground spot”). This is where it rested on the ground and ripened in the sun.
Watermelon Recipe
Photo courtesy of watermelon.org

2. How to: Pop It

Give that classic slice a twist : While seemingly simple, the slice can be transformed into an chilled treat: add a wooden stick, put it in the freezer and presto! You’ve created a watermelon “popsicle.”

Watermelon Recipe
Photo courtesy of watermelon.org
Photo courtesy of watermelon.org

3. How to: Carve it into an Americana Basket

Using an oblong watermelon, slice ¼ inch off the bottom lengthwise to provide a stable base.

  1. Use a pencil to draw lines for handle placement and basket opening. Cut the handle first, wide enough to hold stars, then make zig-zag cuts with a paring knife, all the way through the rind (be careful to not cut through handle base on either side).
  2. Carefully remove sections, pull out large chunks of flesh, and cut them into 3” x 3″ squares.
  3. From squares, trim off 3/4″ thick slices to use for cutting out stars. To cut stars use 1 1/2″ to 3″ star shaped cookie cutters.
  4. Next, cut out 5 large star shaped pieces from the left-over rind, (use a paring knife if necessary), for the handle. Trim off red flesh and attach to basket handle with white side out with half toothpicks.
  5. Use an ice cream scoop to remove flesh from inside of basket and cut scoops into quarters for the fruit salad. Place in bottom of the basket.
  6. Use a white fleshed melon such as ripe honeydew to cut out white “stripes” for salad.
  7. Garnish top of fruit salad with watermelon stars, melon stripes, and blueberries.
Watermelon Recipe
Photo courtesy of watermelon.org

4. How to: Sip It

For a thirst quencher that may keep you from ever going back to traditional lemonade, place the following ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve over ice. (Yields 5 servings)

Ingredients:

½ cup lemon juice, 2 ½ cups water, 2/3 cups agave syrup, 2 cups watermelon chunks


Explore more refreshing summertime recipes here.