The dreaded Florida summer heat may be back, but with the humidity comes watermelon season. Produce stores are stocking up on the delicious treat, and we've compiled some ways to make sure you’re ready to enjoy it.
A good watermelon recipe is nothing without good watermelon. To find good fruit, Hugo Jimenez, the produce manager at the Clark Road Detwiler’s Farm Market location, says to slap the watermelon. If it sounds hollow, then the watermelon is ripe and ready to eat. He also says that dark green fruits are sweeter than light green ones. A bright red inside to the melon means ripe and sweet, while a pink melon means that the fruit is not quite at its peak. Watermelons should last about five to seven days after you buy them.
So then, what to do with all the fruit? One easy way to spice up watermelon is to sprinkle it with Tajín seasoning. Originating in Mexico, the seasoning is a mix of chile powder, salt and dehydrated lime.
But there are plenty of other ways to use watermelon in meals, too, from drinks to dessert. One recipe we love is a savory yet refreshing watermelon and feta salad. Ingredients include watermelon, red onion, cucumber, feta, avocado, mint, basil, serrano pepper and a lime dressing. This salad should go well with classic summer foods like hamburgers and hotdogs, or even picnic sandwiches. To drink, Sedano's suggests a watermelon fizz, a fruity drink for the whole family. All you need is watermelon, sparkling water, mint, honey and lemon.
Publix also has offers many recipes featuring watermelon. One of its most popular and highest rated recipes is homemade “simple” watermelon ice cream. In addition to watermelon, ingredients include ginger, mint, heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and kosher salt. Publix pairs this dessert with a barbecue chicken and cheddar cheese pasta.
Watermelon season in Florida ends in July, so be sure to try these recipes while the fruit is at its freshest.