Let’s beat the heat with watermelon treat.

What you can say about the weather in Cyprus during Summer ? It’s hot! Very hot!! Extremely hot!!! The real summer start on June, when people start to wear short, tank top and sandal or slipper. People also start to use air conditioner in the afternoon since the temperature is about 28  – 30 C (Celsius) in average. On July and August is even worst, the temperature could reach 35 – 42 C, even on the 4th week of last June, it’s 44 C in Nicosia, ooohhh… we’re melting here :(.

There are many ways to cool yourself down on hot summer day; drinking lots of water, swimming, going to the beach, etc, even some food are made to help you feel fresh and cool. Today I will share some recipes of watermelon, the king of summer fruit. We often made those during summer, because it’s very refreshing. Yes, what better than cold watermelon in the hot summer day? It’s juicy, sweet, fresh and also nutritious.

Watermelon at market

Many people think watermelon is simply water and sugar, but the fact is that watermelon contains more Lycopene than other fruit and vegetable. This powerful antioxidant helps fight heart disease and reduces cancer risk. Watermelon is also excellent source for vitamin A, C, B6 and Potasium.

2 types of melonThis king fruit of summer was easily found since early May in Nicosia. The price is about 50 cent per kg with average with more than 10 kg each, you can even find the monster one for about 15 kg each :). Crimson sweet is the most typical watermelon sold in Cyprus, but you also can find the icebox Sugar Baby seedless, though is not as much as crimson sweet and the price is also more expensive. Ah yes, they are called icebox because of the size is usually small and fit into the fridge.

Simply sliced and chilled make watermelon are great as snack, but do you know there are so many ways to enjoy watermelon? Here some of our favorites.

Watermelon Salad with Feta, cilantro and mint leaves.

watermelon bites

Pure watermelon juice and watermelon with feta cheese salad bites

You can make it either as salad bites as on the picture or served on the plate as ordinary salad. Don’t forget to drizzle with light balsamic dressing. But if you make a salad bites as a picture below, you can put the dressing on a separate bowl and you can dip in before you eat it :). Nice!!! This salad bites is a great finger food or snack on summer.

What you need :

Watermelon, cut in cubes.
Slices of feta cheese
Arugula or rocket or mint and coriander leaves.
Balsamic vinegar for dipping or dressing.
How to :
Stack piece of watermelon, feta, coriander and mint leaves into a small fork or small skewer.

 

 

Watermelon mango salsa

Watermelon cucumber juice and watermelon manggo salsa served with tortila

Watermelon cucumber juice and watermelon manggo salsa served with tortila

What you need :
3 cups watermelon, finely chooped
1 cup melon, peeled and diced
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped ( I used green pepper)
1 small red onion (I don’t like union, so I didn’t use it)
Fresh basil and coriander leaves, finely chooped
¼ cup of lemon juice
How to :
In the large bowl, add all the ingredients and toss gently. Chill the salsa for a while and serve with baked pita or tortilla.

 

Grilled halloumi watermelon salad.

Watermelon with grilled halloumi salad

Watermelon with grilled halloumi salad

I love halloumi. This authentic Cypriot cheese is a good pair for sweet juicy watermelon. This salad is very idea for lunch or dinner during summer and very easy to make.

What you need :
Slices of watermelon (as much as you like)
1 pack of halloumi cheese
1 pack of green leaves, you can use spinach, romaine lettuce, arugula or any leaves that you like
Mint leaves (or basil or coriander leaves. I prefer coriander leaves)
1 lemon (for salad dressing and grilled halloumi)
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
Olive oil
How to :
1. Preheat the grill to medium heat (I just use pan fry and put a little bit of olive oil), Slice the halloumi, put the slices on the fry pan, cook each side for about 2 minutes or until the cheese is lightly brown.
2. Combine balsamic vinegar, honey, 1 table spoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon. Mix it and let stand for a while.
3. On the serving plate, arrange the green leaves, watermelon and grilled halloumi.
4. Sprinkle with mint (or basil or cilantro leaves) on top and drizzle with balsamic dressing. Serve immediately.

As my daughter is not big fan of salad, for her I often made watermelon juice, either pure watermelon, or mix it with other fruit or veggie such as cucumber.

Watermelon cucumber juice (picture above)

What you need :
Watermelon and cucumber,
¼ cup lemon juice and mint leaves (I prefer coriander leaves)
How to :
Blend watermelon, pour the juice through sieve (unless you use juicer) and pressing on solid with a spoon or rubber spatula. Do the same thing with cucumber. Combine 3 cups or watermelon juice and 1 cup of cucumber juice, add ¼ cup of lemon juice, adjust the sourness as desired, and then add some mint/coriander leaves. Serve with ice and slice of cucumber and lemon garnish. (for 4 cups).

watermelon rindBy the way, since I have lots of watermelon rind, I gave a try to cook it as a vegetables stir-fry. I know some Asian people make it as a pickle. The taste is good. If you wanna try, just let me know and I will send you the recipe :).

Those are our favorite, could you share what is your favorites?

Yes watermelon, what a glorious treat for summer 🙂

 

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