Delicious ways with watermelon

A recent holiday in Turkey reminded me of the special taste of water melon. I had no idea how nutritious they are – especially full of lycopene antioxidant which gives them their luscious red colour.

As you slice the melon in half, don’t be put off by the little black pips – they pick out quite easily and it’s well worth the trouble. If not, just push the melon flesh through a sieve and the resulting mushy juice is delicious to pour over any fruit salad of your choice. If you have a melon baller in your gadget drawer you can make endless glistening globes to put in a fruit salad and, even better, the scooped out melon shell makes a stylish bowl for it. Pare off a tiny bit at the bottom to help it sit still.

On the savoury side, cubes of watermelon mix magically into most salads. A popular one is to combine them with Feta cheese cubes, cucumber, chopped mint and chives and a little vinaigrette. Yet another is to mix the cubes with cooked prawns, chopped celery, cucumber and mozzarella cheese. Toss in a dressing made of a little rice wine or vinegar, a dash of olive oil, garlic, grated ginger, soy sauce and a hint of chilli. I recently saw a recipe for chilled pea and mint soup which used chopped watermelon as a garnish in the centre – rather a clever idea.

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