Summer Fest: Have Your Way With Watermelon

Our season-long garden party Summer Fest 2012 welcomes food and garden bloggers to feature garden-to-table recipes and tips. We’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. Fresh this week: melon.


Watermelon is 92% water, making it a great option for using in all sorts of drinks, desserts and even soups. It’s also one of those fruits that embodies the idea of lazy summer days and seed-spitting contests so scoop one up as you enjoy these last few weeks of the season.

Here are our current five favorite ways to use watermelon:

1. Mixed Melon Salad with Cilantro and Lime (pictured above)

Kelsey Nixon’s refreshing fruit salad combines cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon in a lime, honey and cilantro dressing. It’s a simple way to showcase the best of summer’s melon.

2. Icebreaker Mojitos

This fruit-filled take on the classic mojito from Chuck Hughes features chunks of fresh watermelon and pineapple. Combine the fruit with a homemade mojito mixture, rum, pineapple juice, and a dash of sugar cane syrup.

3. Watermelon, Ginger and Lime Granita

Cool down dessert with Kelsey Nixon’s icy granita. Blend lime juice and watermelon together to create watermelon water that is combined with sugar and ginger before being chilled in the freezer.

4. Watermelon Vodka Gazpacho

Watermelons are also a great option for cold soups. For this adults-only gazpacho blend cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes with watermelon before adding vodka and sherry vinegar to taste. Pour into shot glasses for a perfect party appetizer.

Agua Fresca

5. Agua Fresca

With just four ingredients you can make a delicious sweetened fruit juice of your choice. Use a large ripe cantaloupe or honeydew, watermelon or a pineapple and puree it with sugar, mint and lime juice for a refreshing summer drink.

Petite Watermelons

Bonus: Petite Watermelons

Okay, so there isn’t actually any watermelon in this recipe but who could resist these mini look-alike versions that are actually Jell-O shots? Spoon strawberry and vodka gelatin into lime rind halves and refrigerate until firm. And those black watermelon seeds? Get the look using black sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or basil seeds.

More Melon Recipes From Family & Friends

Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Watermelon-Mint Freeze
What’s Gaby Cooking: Melon and Prosciutto Salad
Cooking With Elise: Quinoa Crunch With Melons, Blueberries and Yogurt
Haute Apple Pie: Watermelon and Feta Salad
Healthy Eats: Melon Refreshers
Ingredients, Inc.: Melon-Arugula Salad
Daily*Dishin: Honeydew Melon Salad With Genoa Salami and Mozzarella Fresca
Made by Michelle: Cantaloupe Popsicles
Chez Us: Cantaloupe Lime Agua Fresca
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Mixed Melon Smoothie
Virtually Homemade: Melon-Mint Popsicles
Sweet Life Bake: Paletas de Melon
HGTV Gardens: Garden-to-Table: Melons
FN Dish: There’s More to Melon