In Season: Watermelon


Watermelon is one of my favourite fruits. I blend it in juices, add it to salads, or simply enjoy it with yoghurt and a drizzle of organic honey.

When friends come round for weekend lunches and BBQ’s, I love to whip up these simple, delicious recipes, which can be enjoyed by both the grown ups and the kids!

They’re easy and they’re tasty. Let me know how you go with them!

Greek Lamb with Watermelon Salad (Serves 4)

Are we in Santorini? This dish will transport you to Greece on a warm summer’s day.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli fl akes
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 x 200g lamb backstraps, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (95g) Greek-style yoghurt

Watermelon salad

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 300g watermelon flesh, roughly chopped
  • 120g feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves , sliced if large
  • 1/2 cup (60g) pitted kalamata olives, sliced

Method

  1. Pound cumin, rosemary, peppercorns, chilli and 1 teaspoon salt in a mortar and pestle, until coarsely ground. Add the lemon and orange zests, then stir in oil. Place lamb in a shallow dish, pour over marinade, then turn to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat a heavy-based frypan over medium-high heat. In 2 batches, sear the lamb on all sides, turning, for 2-3 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a baking tray, then roast in the oven for 7 minutes for medium-rare, or until cooked to your liking. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, for the watermelon salad, whisk together the oil and lemon juice, then season and toss in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Stir the mint into the yoghurt and season well. Slice the lamb backstraps and serve with the watermelon salad and minted yoghurt on the side.

Watermelon Sorbet (Serves 4)

Quick to prepare and with only 4 ingredients, this refreshing sorbet is low in fat too!

Ingredients

  • 500ml (2 cups) water
  • 215g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 1.2kg seedless watermelon, rind removed, coarsely chopped
  • 2 egg whites

Method

  1. Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and stir over low heat for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool.
  2.  Meanwhile, place watermelon in the jug of a blender and blend until pureed. Strain puree through a fine sieve into a jug, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible (you should have about 600ml of watermelon juice).
  3.  Add sugar syrup to watermelon juice and stir until well combined. Pour into an airtight container, cover and place in the freezer for 4-5 hours or until almost set.
  4.  Roughly break up the sorbet with a metal spoon and transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Process briefly until sorbet is smooth and has a soft, icy texture.
  5.  Return sorbet to container and place in the freezer for a further 4 hours or until firm. Remove from the freezer and repeat step 4. Return sorbet to the container and place in the freezer for a further 5 hours or until firm.
  6.  Place the sorbet and egg whites in the bowl of a food processor and process until sorbet is pale and smooth. Return to the container and place in the freezer for a further 4 hours or until almost firm. Scoop into serving glasses or bowls and serve immediately.

(recipes from www.taste.com.au)

Watermelon Mocktails (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • Approx 4-5 cups of watermelon (seeded and cubed)
  • 1-2 cups of water, as required
  • sugar/honey/agave nectar to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp of fresh lemon juice (I used the juice of one large lemon since I love the taste)
  • few mint leaves for garnish
  • crushed ice to serve

Method

  1. Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and stir over low heat for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool.
  2.  Meanwhile, place watermelon in the jug of a blender and blend until pureed. Strain puree through a fine sieve into a jug, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible (you should have about 600ml of watermelon juice).
  3.  Add sugar syrup to watermelon juice and stir until well combined. Pour into an airtight container, cover and place in the freezer for 4-5 hours or until almost set.
  4.  Roughly break up the sorbet with a metal spoon and transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Process briefly until sorbet is smooth and has a soft, icy texture.
  5.  Return sorbet to container and place in the freezer for a further 4 hours or until firm. Remove from the freezer and repeat step 4. Return sorbet to the container and place in the freezer for a further 5 hours or until firm.
  6.  Place the sorbet and egg whites in the bowl of a food processor and process until sorbet is pale and smooth. Return to the container and place in the freezer for a further 4 hours or until almost firm. Scoop into serving glasses or bowls and serve immediately.
Tip: try to get really sweet watermelons that way you can use less sugar/honey/agave nectar and it becomes a healthier drink.

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