Watermelon is one of Jack's favorite summer fruits. With Labor Day next week, watermelon is sure to be part of many cookouts. One of the farms that Jack's Shop Kitchen partners with - Edgewood Miller Farm - recently provided us with several beautiful, juicy, vibrant red watermelons. There's nothing wrong with the classic watermelon wedge, but with seasonal items in the restaurant, we get to experiment with a variety of ways to highlight both the beauty and flavor of the fruit. Take a look, and let us know how you plan to prepare your watermelon for Labor Day!
Here are five ideas from Jack to get creative with watermelon:
- Watermelon+Basil Mimosa - Top sparkling wine with watermelon juice, muddle with a couple basil leaves. Garnish with a cube of watermelon and basil leaf.
- Summertime Watermelon Salad - Arugula topped with watermelon, watermelon radish, goat cheese, mint, sunflower seeds, and Jack's citrus vinaigrette
- Grilled Prosciutto+Watermelon - Wrap thin slices of prosciutto around watermelon and grill.
- Sweet & Spicy Pickled Watermelon - See recipe below.
- Watermelon+Yogurt Granita - Blend watermelon and yogurt together, and spread it out in a baking dish. Freeze. As it freezes, periodically scrape the mixture with a fork to break up any clumps. Once a fluffy flaky texture, freeze for 30 more minutes. Serve with whipped cream or fresh fruit.
Never pickled watermelon? Jack will show you how it's done!
Yield: about 8-10, 12 oz jars
The beauty of this recipe is that it turns what most people toss to the trash, into a wonderfully bright and fun representation of summer. We make the pickling liquid in large batches and reserve for many different uses. Once you have the pickling liquid, the ratio of measurements is not critical. Feel free to mix and match your spices.
1 qt Water
1 qt White Vinegar
2 cu Sugar
½ cu Salt
Watermelon Rinds Leftover
Pink Peppercorns as needed
Chili Flakes as needed
Juniper Berries as needed
Pickling Liquid: Combine water, vinegar, sugar and salt in large pot and allow to come to a simmer. If using right away, maintain temperature at 180 degrees until watermelon rinds are ready. If reserving, simply turn heat off and allow to cool to room temperature before storing in an air-tight container. Liquid will keep in refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Meanwhile, prepare jars and lids by following standard canning procedures.
Clean watermelon rinds by peeling skin and trimming off any large red portions. You should be left with about ½ inch of light green rind and ¼ inch of pink. Length of rinds should be ¼ inch shorter than the canning jar you are using.
Add about ½ teaspoon each pink peppercorns, chili flakes, and juniper berries to bottom of sanitized jars.
Lay watermelon rinds upright, into jar. Pack as many as you can without crushing rinds in jar.
Ensure pickling liquid is at 180 degrees or higher and gently pour over rinds until covered.
Screw lids onto jars, “finger-tight”. If over tightened, vacuum seal will not be able form. Immediately turn jars over to sanitize the lid; allow to cool completely and reserve.