After the 4th of July festivities, there is always a ton of leftover watermelon and coming up with refreshing ideas for the leftovers is usually a challenge. This year, with the unusual heat wave we’re having here in Portland, I’m embracing ideas for it’s use!! Yesterday, I opened the fridge and looked at what ingredients I could pull from to create some fun and cooling recipes. I found plenty!! Here are four ways to use leftover watermelon that I love.
1. Watermelon Gazpacho
I love gazpacho. And, thought watermelon could only enhance this summer cooling treat. Wow!! Have to tell you, this was one of my more favorite creative outcomes I’ve had in awhile. I had a pretty yellow tomato, some red onion and cucumber on hand, so that worked. Then, I realized I also had some shishito peppers and love them roasted. I thought it could be a nice alternative to the typical raw green pepper and it, indeed, brought a smoky little bite that was amazing. Also in the pantry was an orange champagne vinegar that proved to add so much more flavor than the traditional red vinegar. The final twist was using mascarpone cheese in lieu of sour cream for a garnish. Yummy!! Just added a bit more lusciousness. A good choice! When looking over the recipe, remember, use what works, add your own flair. Gazpacho has limitless options! Just blend and enjoy!
Fresh Basil Leaves
Blend first 7 ingredients until desired consistency. I like to keep a bit of crunch in my final dish. Garnish with a dollop of mascarone, some chopped watermelon, basil and a drizzle of olive oil. And, of course, for me I like to add a couple of drops of siracha just to give that little final bite! This is the perfect recipe for just plain deliciousness and coolness for the summer heat!
2. Watermelon Feta Salad
Next, I found several ingredients to make two cool salads using refreshing watermelon as the base. The first used items I often mix together, so knew they married well. Then, I stepped out of the box a bit, and combined some new options that actually surprised in a very good way! Proof once again that only your imagination and pantry items can limit what you can create!! Try both these and I promise your summer will be cooler!
Ingredients (Per Serving):
Sea Salt ( I used ghost pepper sea salt this time just for a zing)
Directions: Combine watermelon, feta and mint. Add the juice and zest and toss. Add salt to taste, plate and drizzle with the balsamic glaze. It’s the perfect first course or savory dessert for summer!
3. Watermelon Fennel Salad
Ingredients (Per Serving):
sea salt to taste
Marinate the fennel and onion with vinegar adding salt to taste for about 5 minutes. Add the prosciutto and toss with olive oil. Combine with basil and watermelon. Finish with a sprinkle of the red pepper.
This was the surprise! Refreshing watermelon at it’s finest! Easy and satisfying. I promise you will use this often. The perfect summer salad that works as a main course or first course starter.
4. Watermelon Water
My final watermelon use came to me as I was looking at the leftover watermelon rinds I had after slicing and chopping for all these recipes. There still was a good amount of the red fruit left on the beautiful green and I immediately thought it would be beautiful and yes, refreshing, in iced water. I decided to add to the usual lemon I use often and add a few basil leaves to further refresh. The result was stunning. Pretty and beyond refreshing. It will be the water pitcher ingredients for the rest of the summer. Try it and see what I mean!
Hope you find a bit of inspiration here with four ways to use leftover watermelon all summer long. And good luck creating your own refreshing watermelon ideas to keep you cool during these warm summer months to come!
Susan Richards is a contributor and life long friend of BonBon Rose Girls.