April thru July is watermelon season in Florida, so we’ve been enjoying it at our house.
To me, crisp, juicy watermelon screams Summer. It’s also packed with vitamins C and A, as well as, potassium, which keeps your blood pressure down and hydrates you after a workout. That’s all great stuff but, today, I’m focusing on the “delicious-factor” of this pretty melon, since I picked up a locally grown beauty at the farmer’s market.
I like to prepare it with a simple dressing that celebrates the sweetness of the fruit and doesn’t overpower it. I’ve tried lots of flavor combos, but my favorite is lime, fresh basil and a dash of salt & pepper. The cold, juicy melon pairs nicely with the sweetness of the basil, and the zing of the lime perks up all the flavors.
I marinated shrimp in citrus dressing, then skewered and grilled them. I dressed the greens in some of that same dressing, added a little red onion for crunch and color, and topped it with the melon and hot shrimp. My husband added feta (a delicious add-in) and I was happy when he proclaimed “This mix of sweet, savory, juicy and crunchy is like a party in my mouth!” I especially liked it because it was easy, with no significant clean up – a real bonus.
P.S. if you’d like another idea for that watermelon, try this yummy gazpacho.
- 1 lb. large shrimp, deveined, shells removed (leave tail shells for a prettier look)
- 6 c. chopped lettuce (green leaf, red leaf, spinach - whatever you have on hand)
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ c. feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
- ¼ c. fresh lemon juice
- ¼ c. fresh lime juice
- 1 Tb. honey
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- ½ c. olive oil
- 4 c. seedless watermelon, cubed
- 8-10 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced (chiffonade)
- 1 lime, zested
- Juice of 1 lime
- Dash of kosher salt
- Dash of freshly ground black pepper
- Soak 6-8 bamboo skewers in cold water ~30 minutes.
- For the dressing: in a small bowl, whisk citrus juices, honey, salt & pepper. Slowly whisk in oil until it gets a bit thicker (it will be a light dressing).
- Place shrimp in a shallow bowl and add ¼ c. of the Citrus Dressing. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
- While shrimp marinates, make the Watermelon Salad: in a large bowl, combine melon, lime zest & juice, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until shrimp are cooked/ready to serve. NOTE: If you do not plan to serve the salad immediately, hold off cutting the basil until just before serving so the edges don’t turn black.
- Heat grill to medium/high.
- Skewer shrimp (about 6 on each) and place on grill.
- Cook about 2 minutes each side (they will be pink/coral when ready).
- Toss the greens and onion with the remaining Dressing; add in basil, Watermelon chunks, shrimp, and Feta (if using).