Grilled Watermelon

I should start out by saying, I don't really like watermelon. The taste to wateriness ratio does not make it worth it to me. When my husband showed me a recipe for grilled watermelon in Mark Bittman's "How To Cook Everything Vegetarian", I just had to try it. Afterall, I had a watermelon from my farm share and we needed to eat it.

I chose to try the olive oil and cayenne pepper rub to go on the melon slices before grilling them. Grilling watermelon is a strange thing. I found that you really need to turn the heat up to keep the water evaporating. Otherwise, it is pretty strait forward. Keep grilling and turning till it is as dehydrated and charred as you want. The end product is surprisingly sweet and caramelized. And the texture is not at all like watermelon but almost dense. I really liked it and if I ever find myself with watermelon again, I will make it!

For friends: This will make an appearance at Grill-Fest!


Marsosudiro said...

Holy coincidences, batman -- last night I also made grilled watermelon for the first time.

I'm traveling in Colorado and saw on a Boulder restaurant menu, "grilled watermelon with honey and serranos, $4." I said, "shoot, I could probably make that, myself," and ordered something different (which turned out great).

So anyway -- what I/we did since I had no serranos and no experience (too bad I hadn't read your blog, but then again it hadn't been written yet) and not much time: I cut the cold watermelon at ~3/4" thick, drizzled a mess of honey on, then sprinkled with red pepper flakes since I didn't have any serranos handy. The guy doing the grilling said, "no oil on this? which side up?" And I said, "Do the honey side up. Then maybe flip them."

What I liked best was the charred parts. We didn't cook them nearly long enough to get them dehydrated. We may try again. Or we may go with what several of us felt -- this might be fun with other fruits, but we like our watermelon cold and less adulterated.

Starlu (RIP) used to do an occasional and fantastic watermelon soup -- basically just watermelon juice in a bowl, which also had a bit of minced cantaloupe and honeydew, plus a twist of prosciutto. Maybe a dot or two of olive oil.

It's screamingly easy to duplicate that dish. I always add cracked black pepper and definitely some olive oil. You could also skip the prosciutto. And you could substitute some salty smoked salmon, though that would change the dish significantly.

Thanks again for the watermelon photo.

Sallie said...

Honey sounds good! I wondered how long you grilled your watermelon. I ended up cooking mine for 15-20 minutes to get it to kind of firm up. I wonder if honey would last that long on a grill? I will have to try the soup. I am always looking for ways to it watermelon that does not involve it being plain.

Sallie said...

and the "it" as in "looking for ways to it watermelon" means "eat". I don't know what I was thinking.

Matt said...

That looks like a delicious hunk of meat and you're telling me it's watermelon!? C'mon!

I now look forward to Grill Fest. Or, rather, more forward.

Marsosudiro said...

I don't know how long Ken kept them on the grill, but I'm guessing it was well less than 10 minutes. As for the honey staying on -- it occurs to me that one might add that ingredient later in the grilling. One thing I wonder about the restaurant's honey/serrano treatment would be how they got the serranos to stick.

Gosh, now I have to go back to Boulder and cough up the $4!!! Maybe next summer.