Watermelon was invariably served at every July 4th barbeque I’ve attended. Watermelon was a light, healthful and delicious way to conclude a heavily meat oriented meal and I would have a generous helping of a freshly cut up watermelon platter in lieu of ice cream. Watermelon is the perfect solution to beating the scorching summer heat, quenching your thirst, and re-boosting your body with anti-oxidant lycopene and vitamin-A. Wonderfully delicious, watermelons are the great source of much-needed water and electrolytes to beat the tropical summer temperatures. Like most melons, watermelons are rich in potassium, a nutrient that may help control blood pressure, regulate heart beat, and possibly prevent strokes. Also abundant in vitamin C, watermelons are valuable sources of lycopene, one of the carotenoids that have actually been studied in humans. Research indicates that lycopene is helpful in reducing the risk of prostate, breast, and endometrial cancers, as well as lung and colon cancer. Watermelon also contains citrulline and arginine, amino acids which can help maintain arteries, blood flow and overall cardiovascular function.
Available in red, green, and yellow, the most common ways to eat watermelon is in a salad or alone. A couple blog posts ago, I included watermelon in my gazpacho recipe. You can also make drinks and sorbet out of watermelon as well. While eating the meat of the fruit is the best way to take advantage of all of its nutrients, watermelon one of my favorite fruit of summer refreshment. I couldn’t think of a better way to serve a refreshing and tasty salad at a July 4th barbeque other than watermelon salad. As improbable as it might sound, the combination of watermelon and Bulgarian cheese is utterly fantastic, both in a sweet and savory way. You can pare it down to the essential contrast, and serve no more than a plate of watermelon cut into chunks, sprinkled with garlic, chopped fresh basil, mint and dressed with lemon juice, but this full-length version is hardly troublesome to make and once made will, I assure you, people will be begging for more. I initially intended to use a combination of red and yellow watermelon. Unfortunately, I only discovered yellow watermelon after making this watermelon salad. If you don’t like Bulgarian cheese, you can use goat cheese or leave cheese out all together for a vegan version. You can add chopped walnuts in lieu of cheese if you prefer. This watermelon salad recipe is dedicated to my fellow American countrymen and countrywomen as well as our brave soldiers who continuously fight to ensure our independence and freedom.
Happy Independence Day, y’all and God bless America!
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1 lbs of red watermelon
- 1 lbs of yellow watermelon (if you can’t find yellow watermelon, use another red watermelon)
- 1 small red onion chopped
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1 bunch of fresh basil chopped
- 1 bunch of fresh mint chopped
- 8 oz of low-fat Bulgarian cheese crumbled (or 1 cup of chopped walnuts)
- Juice from 2 lemons
- 1/8 cup of olive oil
- Dash of black pepper
Cut watermelon into cubes. Place them in a salad bowl along with chopped onion, minced garlic, mint and basil. Sprinkle in crumbled Bulgarian cheese. Season with olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper. Toss and serve.
Yields 8 servings