By Lauren Cook, Grillax Senior Writer
Watermelon is one of those foods that stands alone. Some salt it, some sugar it, but everyone can agree that it’s a summertime favorite.
If you’re like me, you often find yourself losing your enthusiasm for eating plain watermelon after the first five (hundred) pounds; but what do you do with the ton you have left sitting in the cooler?
You grill it!
I know it sounds weird, but just trust me on this one. Grilled watermelon is delicious in a way you can’t imagine until you taste it. Plus, it’s very filling while contributing next to nothing to your calorie count! My favorite way to eat this is to make it the star of a fresh, crisp summer salad.
Plan of attack
There are a few ways you can go about grilling your melon. You can cut off the rind from the bottom and sides until you come away with a solid block of watermelon, but I find this method a tad wasteful and very messy. You can also chunk your melon and put it on skewers. In my opinion, it’s best to simply slice your melon, rind and all, into half-moons, since the rind left on allows for some stability when flipping the slices on the hot grill.
After you slice, spray or lightly brush the melon with olive oil. Also give your grill a light spray.
Grill your slices on high heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until you start to see grill marks forming. This is also when you need to take a deep inhale, because it smells amazing.
Bring your beautiful, grilled melon inside and cut away the rind. Chop into large chunks and discard any seeds you find.
After this, your creativity can take over. Below you’ll find my favorite Grilled Watermelon Summer Salad recipe. This should get you started on finding what flavors go well together.
Grilled Watermelon Summer Salad
This salad can double as a side dish or stand alone as a meal. Grilled watermelon is the star of this show.
- Half of a large watermelon, room temperature, sliced
- 8 cups spring lettuce and spinach mixture
- 5 oz goat cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
- Salt and pepper
- Balsamic Reduction, recipe follows
- Grill your melon with the method suggested above. Place your greens, Parmesan, and seasoning in a large bowl and place grilled melon on top. Add dollops of goat cheese (this stuff is soft and does not crumble, just dot it all over salad).
- For the dressing, heat 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 bay leaf and 6 whole cloves in a skillet over medium heat. Let the mixture reduce to half its original amount. Strain and remove cloves. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and black pepper. Serve over top of salad.