The Sweet and Savory Sides of Watermelon

Refreshing watermelon moves from appetizers to entrees and desserts with ease

Curated by Mary Subialka

This easy canape appetizer uses juicy watermelon in place of bread

Summer certainly wouldn’t be the same without the thirst-quenching goodness of watermelon. And with the end of summer in sight, it’s the perfect time to try something different beyond just slicing and eating this summertime favorite.

Apart from being delicious, watermelon is also good for you. Virtually fat and cholesterol free, it is low in sodium; is a good source of vitamins A, B6, and C; and contains potassium, thiamin, and magnesium—all at only 40 calories per cup. And, as the name suggests, watermelon is made up of a high percentage of water—92 percent, in fact, so it helps you stay hydrated.

Always a favorite on its own or as dessert, watermelon is also delicious in a great range of savory dishes for an unexpected sweet/savory flavor, such as in these recipes, which are courtesy of the Watermelon Board.

Make sure to wash melons with cool tap water and dry before cutting in order to remove any surface dirt and impurities on the rind that could be transferred from the knife to the flesh when cut.

Watermelon Canapes

Makes 6 servings

Who needs bread with this quick and easy appetizer that can be made hours ahead of your event?

  • 12 1¼ x 3-inch seedless watermelon rectangles, ¾-inch thick
  • 1 cup tapenade (olive pâté)
  • 6.5 ounces crumbled herbed goat cheese
  1. Place the watermelon rectangles close together in a tight row on a work surface or a piece of waxed paper. Spread the tops of the watermelon slices evenly with the tapenade.
  2. Sprinkle the goat cheese over the tapenade. Arrange the canapés on a serving tray.
A salad with cool and crisp Mediterranean flavors and fresh watermelon

Mediterranean Salad

Makes 6 servings

This fresh healthy salad is great on a summer day. The cool and crisp Mediterranean flavors, along with watermelon, will help to cool you down and re-energize you.

  • 6 cups torn mixed salad greens
  • 3 cups of 1-inch cubed watermelon
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Dash cracked black pepper
  1. In large bowl, mix all ingredients except oil and pepper. Just before serving, toss salad mixture with oil. Garnish with pepper.
Fontina Fans with Crab Salad build on thinly sliced watermelon for a light summer lunch

Fontina Fans with Crab Salad

Makes 4 servings

This is a great summer seafood dish to enjoy outdoors.

  • 2 eggs hard boiled, and grated
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon curry blend (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 24 ounces fresh prepared crabmeat, patted dry
  • 4 ounces washed baby arugula, patted dry
  • 12 slices 2×5-inch thin slices of seedless watermelon
  • 8 slices 2×5-inch fontina cheese
  1. Combine the grated egg, mayonnaise, curry, and relish in a bowl until blended. Fold in the crab. Arrange the arugula on 4 plates.
  2. On each plate create fans by alternating slices of watermelon and cheese, beginning and ending each fan with watermelon slices. Place a dollop of the crab mixture at the base of each fan. Serve immediately.
Tilapia pairs with a watermelon radish slaw for a refreshing twist in these tacos

Fish Tacos with Watermelon and Radish Slaw

Makes 4 servings

These fish tacos are prepared with tilapia and are paired with a watermelon radish slaw, which offers a refreshing twist to a delicious and nutritious dish.

  • 1 pound tilapia
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Dash salt and pepper (to taste)

For the Slaw:

  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup DANDY Ready-to-Eat Radish Ministicks
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup seedless watermelon, diced small
  • Dash salt to taste
  1. Place fish in a freezer bag with olive oil, 3 tablespoons lime juice, honey, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Close bag and coat fish completely. Marinate for 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature.

2. Place fish on a broiler pan and lightly season with salt and pepper. Place fish under broiler for 5 minutes. Turn fish over and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until it easily flakes. Remove fish. Wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and place in oven, which has been turned off, to warm.

3. Meanwhile, add Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, and lime juice to a bowl. Stir until combined. Add cabbage, radishes, and cilantro. Toss lightly. Add watermelon and salt to taste. Toss lightly again.

4. Remove tortillas from oven. Place pieces of fish on two tortillas. Top with slaw. Garnish with extra cilantro. Serve warm.

For brunch or dessert, a watermelon is a sweet take on “pizza.”

Sweet Watermelon Pizza

Servings will vary

The hardest part of making this sweet pizza is deciding what toppings to use. Healthy enough for breakfast and sweet enough for dessert, this watermelon pizza will quickly make its way into your weekly meal rotation.

  • 1 watermelon round about one-inch thick (for crust)
  • Varied amount shredded coconut
  • Varied amount Greek yogurt of choice
  • Varied amount mint
  • Varied amount berries of choice (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries)
  • Varied amount slivered almonds
  1. Spread yogurt to cover watermelon, leaving room to hold the rind.
  2. Sprinkle watermelon pizza with the toppings as desired.

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