is the tail end of watermelon season here in Indiana and I am stockpiling memories of crisp
sweetness to get me through til next July. I was never too much of a watermelon eater as a kid because, frankly, it
seemed like way too much sticky mess for minimal reward – all that dripping of
juice and spitting of seeds to get a fleeting mouthful of sugary, watery crunch.
discovery of melon ballers and then, oh joy – seedless melons – turned me back
on to watermelon as an adult. But the best discovery of all was the revelation
that watermelon is not just for dessert after a cookout, but actually goes
great with savory flavors — like goat cheese, salt, chilies, and vinegar. A whole new world of watermelon-loving opened
of my favorites is Chef David Tallent’s Summer Melon Salad with Capriole Goat
oz fresh Capriole goat cheese, softened
cups fresh herbs, chopped
small, sweet watermelon (red or yellow), cut into dice or balls, as preferred
small to medium cantaloupe, cut as preferred
cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
oz baby salad greens and herbs (arugula, basil, tarragon, parley, mint, or a
virgin olive oil, to taste
tarragon, to taste
8 vinegar (or other vinegar, as preferred), to taste
and pepper to taste
goat cheese and herbs in processor or by hand. Add a small amount of olive oil to moisten and smooth the mixture. Set aside.
melon, olives, tomatoes, and greens together. Toss with salt and pepper and chopped tarragon to taste. Drizzle with olive oil, and toss gently. Add vinegar to taste, and toss again.
as desired, individually or family style, with a heap of salad garnished with
goat cheese quenelles (goat cheese shaped in ovals with two spoons) or scooped
with a melon baller. If desired, drizzle
with herb oil (1 cup of herbs pureed with canola or grapeseed oil (do not use
olive oil for this as the heat generated by the blender will make it
bitter.) Serve cold.
combination of watermelon and goat cheese is really magic. Yesterday for lunch I just had a few slices
of perfect watermelon with some Capriole Farms Old Kentucky Tomme (one of my
favorite cheeses this year, but I was pretty fond of it last year too, when I
blogged about it here.) I don’t know why
goat cheese and watermelon work so well, but the salty, tangy cheese and the
crisp, sweet melon are a perfect combination.
watermelon find was this recipe from Bloomington Cooking School owner Jan Bulla-Baker, for Watermelon Gazpacho.
Bulla-Baker’s Watermelon Gazpacho
cups watermelon, seeded and cubed
cups orange juice
cup olive oil
½ English cucumbers, seeded and diced
large red pepper, seeded and diced
medium onion, diced
cloves of garlic, minced
tablespoon finely diced jalapeno peppers
tablespoons balsamic vinegar or lime juice
cup cilantro, chopped
and pepper to taste
6 cups of watermelon with orange juice and oil in blender or food
processor. Transfer to bowl and mix with
remaining ingredients. Blend with hand
blender to desired consistency. Season
with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate. Serves 15-25.
wonderful stuff, but if even that seems like too much effort on a hot summer
day, do what I did for lunch this afternoon. Slice up some watermelon, squeeze a juicy lime over it, and sprinkle it
with a mixture of spicy chili powder and kosher salt. My mouth is still happy.
(Both Dave’s and Jan’s recipes appear in articles by me in the August/September edition of Bloom Magazine.)