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Watermelon: Not Just for Summer (September 26, 2005)

Watermelon. It's not just for summer anymore, and this friendly favourite fruit turns out a lot more versatile than the ubiquitous finish to the barbecue.

Sure, they're fun to eat and hit the spot on a hot summer day, but who knew that they're a good source of Vitamin C, thiamine and vitamin B6, plus a batch of other important minerals etc. that we won't bother you with here?

All you really need to know is that Chef Harry, host of the PBS program Chef Harry and Friends, has created more than 100 simple and unique watermelon recipes that can be found on online at www.watermelon.org. Here are two of our favourites...

On today's menu:

Download these recipes in printable form as an Adobe Acrobat PDF (68 KB)


 

Minced Pork and Watermelon Lettuce Wraps

We love this Thai-inspired dish; wraps are fun and easy to eat, especially when the filling is spicy and sweet all wrapped up in a perfect foil, crisp iceberg lettuce. The watermelon makes a surprise ingredient that matches the flavours beautifully. Better double the batch... seconds and even thirds will be demanded!

Serves 4

  • 1 lb lean ground pork
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup fresh copped scallions
  • 1 cup Hoisin sauce
  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 cup minced seedless watermelon
  • 8 Bibb or iceberg lettuce leaves

In a heavy non-stick skillet over high heat brown the pork until well done. Reduce heat to medium and add the garlic, ginger and soy sauce to the pan. Stir for a few minutes and then add the scallions. Remove from heat and add the Hoisin sauce and pine nuts. Stir to mix well. Fold in the watermelon. Divide among the lettuce leaves, wrap and serve immediately.

Tony's wine recommendation:
A white wine with some sweetness but good acidity – that means Riesling in off-dry style (Kabinett or Spaetlese if German), Viognier, or Alsace Pinot Gris.


 

Grilled Shrimp with Watermelon Lemongrass Glaze

Well, what a surprise. Succulent shrimp are bathed in a delectable sweet-and-sour marinade to create a perfect flavour medley... the watermelon really does come through!

Serves 6 to 8

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger, (or 1 tsp ginger powder)
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh lemongrass (or 1 tsp dry shredded)
  • ¼ cup extra dry vermouth
  • 2 tsp soy sauce or to taste
  • 1 cup watermelon puree (blended watermelon)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 lbs skewered grilled shrimp

Make the glaze by heating the oil in a 2- or 3-quart saucepan over medium height heat and in it sauté the garlic, ginger and lemongrass for a few minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in vermouth, soy sauce, watermelon and sugar. Divide the mixture in two, setting aside one half for serving as glaze/drizzle. Use the other half for basting or marinating the raw shrimp. Note: do not mix liquid for the two halves to avoid contaminating the glaze/drizzle. Makes enough glaze for 2 lbs of grilled shrimp.

Tony's wine recommendation:
A white wine with sweetness and lively acidity – Gewurztraminer, dry Muscat, Torontes from Argentina.


For more information, great recipes and anything else you want to know about watermelon, go to www.watermelon.org.

Thanks to the National Watermelon Promotion Board for recipes and photographs.

 

Happily tested by Helen Hatton and Ron Morris.

Download these recipes in printable form as an Adobe Acrobat PDF (68 KB)

 

 

 

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