Summer is in full swing here in South Africa with temperatures hitting the 30C mark. Multi-coloured fresh fruits and vegetables are in abundance in the produce sections of grocery stores and farmers markets. Melons of all sizes and varieties are so inexpensive that one cannot resist the temptation of a large green watermelon selling for less than a bottle of still water.
I am always a bit reticent about buying these tasty watermelons because I know that I will have to slice them up and store the masses of juicy, melon flesh in my not so big fridge. My worms are always thrilled to gnaw on the outer skin of the melon as I constantly try to reduce the waste component of each fruit and vegetable. I have now started to make pickled watermelon rind. It is oh so good on an open-face brie and prosciutto sandwich, that is topped with a few pickled rinds. That is for another blog entry…
I often find that after day two of watermelon and yoghurt for breakfast, followed by watermelon and feta salad for lunch, and finally a fat-free dessert of watermelon slices for dinner, that I can no longer bear another bite of that delightful pink slice of summer.
This past year, I finally came up with the solution for watermelon. Make it into a nice cold, refreshing juice or better yet, take it a step further and make it into a sorbet or granita. If that ice cream machine has not yet been purchased for your kitchen no worries, if you have a bowl and a fork, granita is only hours away from being enjoyed as a palate cleanser, a base for a simple vodka shot or finally a delightful and refreshing dessert.
See how easy it is to make your very own sorbet and remember to compost all the leftover rinds. Watch for my blog on pickled watermelon rind. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed what would have been fare for the bin.
- 6 cups watermelon meat (900gm)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ cup castor sugar
- 1 cup water
- 12 mint leaves
- Place watermelon pieces and lemon juice in blender. Whiz until reduced to a watery consistency.
- Pass the watermelon juice through a sieve into a bowl.
- In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil then take off the heat and add the mint leaves.
- Allow the mixture to cool down and take on a minty flavor.
- Remove the mint leaves and add to the watermelon mixture.
- Mix and place in the fridge for a ½ hour.
- At this point you can make sorbet by adding the mixture to an ice cream maker[br]For granita:[br]
- Pour the purée mixture into a metal baking pan and place in the freezer.
- After 45 minutes, remove the pan and with a fork, scratch up the surface and mix around the watermelon purée.
- Freeze for another 45 minutes and do the same to the slushy mixture.
- Then allow to freeze for 3 hours.
- To serve, use a fork to scratch up the surface then place in bowls or small glasses.