Eat This Now: Watermelon

This tasty summertime fruit is now in season, and to celebrate, we asked area chefs to fork over their favorite mega-good-for-you, mouthwatering melon recipes

It’s watermelon season in Philly, and that’s good news. The sweet-as-candy summertime treat you’ve been eating since childhood is also amazingly good for you. One cup contains almost a quarter of your daily vitamin C needs, and pink varieties are also high in lycopene, the same disease-fighting antioxidant found in tomatoes. So to get a few more bites into you before the season ends, we rounded up watermelon recipes you can whip up tonight.

Watermelon Basil Slushy
From Katie Cavuto, Healthy Bites
Serves 1

1 cup ice
2 cups watermelon
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil (can use mint as well)
1 tsp agave nectar or honey

In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients until ice is “slushy” and serve.

Melon, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad
From Katie Cavuto, Healthy Bites
Serves 6

2 cups watermelon, cubed or balled
2 cups cantaloupe, cubed or balled
3 cups heirloom tomatoes, rough, large chop (can substitute grape or cherry tomatoes)
1 cup small mozzarella balls
2 tbsp fresh basil, chiffonade
1 tbsp mint, chiffonade
6 tbsp balsamic glaze

1. Mix all ingredients except the balsamic in a large bowl.
2. Separate into six serving dishes and top each with 1 tbsp drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Watermelon and Feta Salad
From Peter Karapanagiotis, Prive Restaurant

Serves 8

1 red watermelon, chopped into two-inch cubes
2 cups feta cheese, cut into one-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups organic honey
3 cups chopped walnuts

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and serve.

Seared Coriander Dusted Scallops With Pickled Watermelon Rind
From Fork Restaurant

Serves 4 as an appetizer

Approximately ¼ of a 5-lb round watermelon (using the rind of the watermelon only)
Salt, to taste

Pickling liquid
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups water
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, sliced, seeds and all
1/2 tsp coarsely ground coriander seed
1 tbsp kosher salt

8 dry-packed unpasteurized sea scallops (U10 if possible), or 20 – 24 shrimp (16/20 size), peeled and deveined
Ground coriander, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Peel the watermelon skin with a vegetable peeler until all the green rind is gone, saving the white and pink part of the fruit only. The pink fruit left on the rind should be paper-thin.
2. Thinly slice rind into three-inch strips. Cut approximately 2 cups.
3. Sprinkle the rind with the salt and let sit while the pickling liquid is prepared.
4. Combine all ingredients for pickling liquid in a saucepot and bring to a boil.
5. Pour over the salted rind in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature until cool, about a half hour, to preserve the ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
6. Season both sides of scallops with coriander, salt, and pepper on a separate plate or pan.
7. Heat oil in a sauté pan. When oil is hot, carefully place scallops into pan and sear approximately 1 1/2 minutes on each side and cook to desired doneness.
8. Place the scallops on a plate and sprinkle pickled rinds over top. Serve.