Italian Food and Flavours
I’m not complaining but boy it’s hot in Italy at the moment . Le Marche is in the middle of a heatwave and I crave for watermelon, so cleared a space in my fridge and bought a large one. The markets and supermarkets are full of them and even when paying for my gigantic beast I’m imagining biting into the cold, juicy fruit which makes my mouth feel even drier!
A superb thirst quencher with 92% of the fruit being water but also watermelon is full of other good stuff like vitamins and minerals such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, choline, lycopene, and betaine . Phew – also I believe great for weightloss and I HAVE been over indulging again during my recent visit to London. I can’t resist those fish’n’chips!
Naturally you can simply slice the watermelon into wedges and eat them as they are. I have seen beach sellers at the Adriatic coast here walking up and down, amongst the sunbathers selling watermelon slices from their cool boxes and shouting ‘ cocomero fresca’ ( the Le Marche word for watermelon is cocomero but anguria is also used) On a scorcher of a day like today they sell lots.
However, for a bit more inspiration on how to consume the luscious watermelon then read on:
So so simple but super refreshing and great for kids and also as a non alcoholic party drink.
Juice or blend a few handfuls of watermelon. I have a juicer which removes the pips so if blending you may need to remove them or just get a juicer!
Add a tablespoon of lime or lemon juice and lots of crushed ice ( this is where I get to use my new ice crusher)
Find a shady spot and enjoy this thirst squencher.
Watermelon Caipirinha Style Coctail
I love mojitos and was told by my niece that a mojito should have mint added and I don’t have any in my herb garden at the moment. After a bit of research I realise a true Caipirinha must have Cachaca rum but what the heck – normal rum tastes pretty good too. I also learnt a new verb -‘ to muddle’: a very important technique when making this coctail.
So choose a heavy bottomed wide glass (good for muddling) and add wedges of lime, a teaspoon of white sugar and find a ‘muddler’ In otherwords something with which you can crush the limes with the sugar and muddle until mingled and crushed.
Then add watermelon juice and rum or vodka according to your personal tastes.
Of course experimenting with amounts is part of the fun of making cocktails. I like mine quite sour so go easy on the sugar.
Juice or blend your watermelon. I realised after making this that its a good idea to sieve the juice first so no bits are left as created some residue in my drink – still tasted good though.
Pour strained watermelon into a large pitcher. Add fresh squeezed lemon juice and sugar. Top up with lots of sparkling water. Stir well.
Serve over ice and garnish with a lemon and/or watermelon slice.
Watermelon and Ricotta Salad
It’s too hot to cook and this deliscious salty/sweet salad combo can be whipped up in no time.
Cut your watermelon into chunks, getting rid of all seeds and squeeze some lemon juice over it.
Crumble in some salted ricotta or feta cheese
Add some basil for a hint of green.
Then toast a handful of nuts. I used pistacchio and pine nuts but could also add chopped almonds. Add a little honey to warm nuts for a hint of sweetness and sprinkle over the salad.
Watermelon Insalatona or bigger salad
Finally, to make the above salad into more of a meal add grilled prawns and/or avocado and cooked and cooled faro (bulgar wheat)
As long as you balance your protein/carbo/fruit mix then your insalatona will be a summertime hit!
Recipe by Debby: from Italian Food and Flavours