When it's my turn for Tribune Cooks, unless I have some brilliant inspiration, I try to use whatever is lying around the house.
Luckily for me (and you readers), my mother gave me a nice big seedless watermelon left over from our Fourth of July picnic. It has been rolling around the fridge for a few days, and I decided to make use of it.
Watermelon is a great fruit (it's a fruit, right?). It comes in its own carrying case, which can be carved into a basket or a hedgehog, depending on your knife skills. It is light and not too sweet. Whether you add salt or sugar, watermelon is also highly customizable.
Tribune Chronicle photos / Sarah Sepanek
Shown is a Watermelon Gorgonzola Salad and a Watermelon Blueberry Smoothie. Both recipes make good use of a watermelon.
But, it is also very messy. Does anyone know a way to cut up a watermelon that isn't disgusting? No drainboard can contain that much juice.
Many paper towels later, the watermelon was cut up and ready to eat. I had some gorgonzola cheese in the fridge, and since you can find a recipe using any two ingredients you can think of, I found a gorgonzola salad combo online that sounded tasty. I added a packet of dried cranberry and almond trail mix I got in the snack machine at work, and bingo - a salad that's sweet and salty, crunchy and smooth.
The salt of the almonds and gorgonzola mixed well with the watermelon and cranberries. The smooth bite of the cheese paired well with the spinach. The garlic salt and fresh pepper added some more layers of flavor. Everything was just happy and harmonious.
If you aren't into the tang of balsamic vinaigrette, you can substitute in a raspberry vinaigrette or other dressing.
I also wanted to make use of the single-serving smoothie blender I got on Amazon but never opened. Blueberries had been purchased for a Fourth of July pie. Some watermelon, blueberries, ice, a stray yogurt and some honey and lemon made for a fruity and refreshing smoothie. I'm very glad I?finally used my blender, and vow to try some new recipes with it.
Since a watermelon usually takes more than one sitting to finish up, these two treats will help you appreciate any that might come your way.