Watermelon is What Summer is All About

Is there any food more iconic of summer than juicy, perfect watermelon? Of course, there are many ways to improve on unadorned slices of cold, ripe watermelon. It seems counterintuitive, but searing or grilling watermelon actually concentrates its flavor, and makes the texture almost meat-like.

Marinate watermelon chunks in soy, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar overnight, sear them for a few minutes, and serve. It looks almost exactly like tuna poke, and the texture is dead-on too. Watermelon is also delicious paired with savory seasonals like tomatoes and red onions.

One of my favorite salads combines heirloom tomatoes, watermelon, chunks of feta, and razor-thin sliced red onion with a cumin and mint dressing. And speaking of salty perfection, sweet watermelon pairs very well with grilled shrimp, prosciutto, salty cheeses, and even oysters.

Lastly, please don’t waste those watermelon rinds! Pickled watermelon rind is a classic southern staple for a reason. The rinds become almost translucent from the pickling liquid, and they are simply gorgeous as a cocktail hour bite, or as a garnish on backyard burgers.

About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.