Watermelon slices

Watermelon is by no means my favorite melon, but once the temperature starts to hover right around 90 degrees, I just can’t seem to get enough of the refreshing summer staple.

While it’s common knowledge that watermelon is amazing to eat when it’s fresh (and there are so many tasty watermelon recipes just dying to be made), it also makes a great addition to summer salads and drinks.

And luckily, watermelon is one of those warm weather treats that’s pretty darn good for you, too. The health benefits of watermelon are plenty! Watermelon is a nutrient-dense food that’s mostly water and low in calories. Fresh watermelon also is high in vitamin C and A, and also is rich with B vitamins. Watermelon is also packed with beta carotene and lycopene.

OK! Enough about all of this melon’s health benefits and on to the watermelon recipes. I took a stab at making the following watermelon salad and watermelon drink. I made the following meal for dinner for my dad to celebrate Father’s Day a few days early. Earlier in the day, we shopped around the small, weirdo town of Lawrence, Kan., and searched for vinyl until our feet hurt. This dinner was our celebration.

Now, while I took some liberties with each recipe (because who really follows every step in a recipe? I don’t – I’m a rebel), each recipe is pretty similar to the original.

Glass of sangria

Watermelon-Plum Sangria

Ingredients

1/2 seedless baby watermelon
2 red plums that are halved, pitted and sliced into wedges
2 golden plums that are halved, pitted and sliced into wedges
1 pint of blackberries
2 bottles of rose wine, chilled
4 ounces elderflower liqueur

Always use organic and local ingredients when you can.

Method

Use a melon baller to scoop out watermelon and place the scoops of melon into a 1/2 gallon pitcher with the melon’s extra juice. Next, add the plums and blackberries. Pour in the wine and liqueur, and stir! Refrigerate for at least two hours, or up to six hours.

Yield: six to eight servings.

What I did:

I nixed the liqueur and halved the recipe because I was concocting for one (my mom and dad don’t drink). Also: Instead of plums, I used peaches and nectarines. The result was grand. It was bitter and sweet, which is a combo I love.

Watermelon salad

Tomato and Watermelon Salad

Ingredients

3 or 4 small to medium heirloom tomatoes, in assorted colors, cored and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 small English or regular cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 cup 3/4-inch-cubed yellow or red seedless watermelon flesh
1 Haas avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 tablespoon chopped mixed fresh herbs, in any combination: basil, tarragon, chives, and cilantro
1/4 teaspoon coriander seed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, watermelon, avocado, and herbs. In a spice grinder, grind the coriander seeds to a fine powder. Add the ground coriander to the tomato mixture and toss gently. Then, in a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and balsamic vinegar together, as well as the salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture over the tomato mixture and toss to coat evenly.

Yield: four to six servings.

What I did:

I bought a spring mix of lettuce leaves as well as some local greens instead of herbs (I did add some fresh basil, though). I didn’t core my tomatoes and I didn’t seed or peel my cucumbers. Still, I thought my small variations tasted just fine. The salad was incredibly refreshing and was mildly sweet.

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Related on Organic Authority

Watermelon Salad Recipe with Cucumbers, Mint and Feta Cheese

5 Watermelon Varieties to Try this Summer

Watermelon Red Wine Sangria Recipe

Top image: Harsha KR

Images in post: Abbie Stutzer