Sunday, August 21, 2011

Watermelon Marinated in Toasted Sesame Oil

As far as I am concerned, summer is not summer without watermelon. Who can resist those gorgeous red slices of pure and natural sweetness? I love watermelon. But none of that pre-cut, pre-sliced, wrapped in cellophane-for-convenience watermelon.  I buy watermelon whole and cut it up into big, generous slices. I hold it in my hands and dig in. My face gets covered, my chin dripping with juices. I am instantly transported back to childhood. And forget seedless watermelon. Where's the fun in that? I spit those seeds across the table at my brother or sister. They retaliate. Grown adults, having a full blown watermelon seed fight! It's not a big deal. Nothing a sponge or a good squirt with the hose can't clean up after.

I only buy watermelon in the summer. I know it's available all year 'round but to me, it just doesn't taste the same. So why bother? Besides, if I eat it all year long, I won't be as excited about it come summer-time. Watermelon is BIG deal in my house. I want to keep it that way.......

I did find this recipe for Marinated Watermelon that sounds awfully good. Perfect for those who prefer  serving and eating watermelon with a bit more sophistication.  I'll make this the next time I'm trying to make an impression and don't want anyone to know I am just a country bumpkin masquerading as a city girl. All kidding aside, this recipe is different, slighty exotic and the perfect appetizer for a Sunday evening dinner outside beneath the stars.

12 to 24 1/2-inch watermelon balls
2 sprigs fresh mint, bruised
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (available in the Asian food section)
Coarse sea salt

Combine all ingredients except salt in a zippered bag, gently toss to coat and refrigerate 1 to 3 hours. Toss gently once or twice more.

Spear melon balls on a cocktail fork or short bamboo skewer and serve on a small plate. For garnish, arrange 3 or 4 balls on the plate before serving. In both cases, sprinkle a few crystals of sea salt on the melon just before serving.

By the way, no matter how I eat my watermelon, I always sprinkle a little sea salt on it. It brings out the flavor. I am told it's a Southern thing. I don't know about that but it sure is Cynfully Good..........

Recipe from an article by Kevin D. Weeks,  a personal chef in Knoxville, Tenn. Weeks also teaches cooking classes, is the guide to Cooking for Two at, and blogs at Seriously Good.

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