I love watermelon, and it deeply saddens me that it will be a long time before I get to eat a melon from the Texas valley again. The melons here in Colorado tend to be smaller due to the shorter growing season and they’re definitely more expensive in the store. The upside to seeing melons in the store and at the farmers market is the definitive proof that it IS possible to grow watermelon in Colorado. Come Springtime I plan on growing my own batch in cloth bags in the front yard. Wish me luck.
Sarah and I went to the Farmer’s Market right by our house on Thursday at 1:00 pm right before they closed which is the perfect time to go get fresh fruits on the cheap. I convinced one nice farmer to sell me two watermelons for $6 which makes me one happy camper. Sarah also snagged us a bunch of peppers and sweet onions to cook with later.
Our haul from the farmers market.
In my years of life I have attempted to cut watermelon several ways, “traditional ways” you may call them, and none of them work nearly as well as the way I’m going to teach you shortly. I learned this method from watching Giada De Laurentiis in passing at Will and Britt’s house. This method maximizes the amount of red flesh you get off of the rind and is incredible simple.
*Side Note I often confuse Giada De Laurentiis with Gianna Michaels and I like to think that Gianna would also host a really enjoyable cooking show. But I digress.
Not quite the same as Giada. Better, some would say?
Let’s slice some melons shall we?
Prepare your tools and your workspace.
First you’ll need to secure your melon, cutting board and knife. I prefer a really sharp Santoku knife to do my prep on fruits and veggies. If you’re interested in learning more about sharpening kitchen knives I suggest you read this great tutorial on the eGullet forums.
The step is to cut your melon in ‘twain.
Once you’re ready to get down and dirty cut your melon in half perpendicular to the stripes, or short-ways so you have two melon ends to deal with. We want to be able to set the melon on its cut side so it has a stable base for the next step.
Halved melon is in halves.
From this point we’re going to start shaving the rind off of the delicious melon meat hidden within. Confused yet? Keep reading and all will be revealed.
Shave the melon at a nice shallow angle to start sneaking up on the red meat inside.
By starting at the stem at a shallow angle and slicing the rind off you can get right to the edge of the edible fruit and not waste any of it.
First shave. Note how only a little red was exposed with the first cut.
Continue in a circle around the melon until you have the rind completely shaved away. I’d guess that it takes makes 10-15 solid slices to get the rind completely removed.
Half shaven at this point
Remeber the key is only to remove green and white material with each cut, if you’re seeing red on the rind you’re cutting too deep or too much at once.
That melon is naked!
Once you’ve shaven the rind off take a moment to admire the sculpture you’ve just made. i always think of a geometric turtle shell once I’m done. The turtloid from Sonic 2 springs to mind honestly.
Vertical slices first.
Once the melon is naked (with the rind removed) it’s ready to be cut however you choose. I like to make cubes or spears depending on how I’m feeling. Today I opted to just make spears which requires one less step than cubes.
Start your slicing by making 3/4″ vertical slices through the fruit.
The next step is to slicing the melon again in 3/4″ horizontal stripes, effectively making your melon a 3/4″ grid of melon spears. From this point you could cut the melon spears again to make 3/4″ cubes, but I prefer spears so I can eat them with my hands and fit them in a bowl easier.
See how nicely it all fits into that bowl?
I put my bowl on top of the melon and then flip the whole cutting board so the mellow lands right side up and all together in the glass bowl.
Now we add the secret ingredient.
Limes! There’s something about their tart sweetness that has always called to me. A glass of iced sweet tea with Lime is perfection defined to me, so it’s no surprise that I add lime to my water melon.
This is where the magic happens.
Add as little or as much as you like; I like to use one whole lime for one whole watermelon which results in a nice balance of sweet and sour.
This is my idea of the perfect healthy snack.
That’s it! Now all you have to do is eat the melon before your friends and family starting poking around and asking for a piece.
Next time I’ll show you how I brew iced tea.