Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.

GRILLED WATERMELON STEAK WITH ARUGULA-FETA TOPPING

1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

4 (1 1/2-inch thick) wedges watermelon

2 cups arugula or watercress

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1/4 cup crumbled feta

2 tablespoons pepita or sunflower seeds

1. Heat the grill for medium-high direct heat cooking (350 to 400 degrees).

2. Whisk the vinegar, 1 tablespoon of the oil, salt and pepper together; set aside.

3. Brush the watermelon steaks with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and place on the grill. Cook until grill marks appear on the undersides, about 1 minute; turn and grill until the undersides are again well-marked, about 1 more minute. Remove from grill and place a slice on 4 plates.

4. Combine the dressing with the greens; place over each wedge and sprinkle with the feta and pepita. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 137 calories, 4 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 190 mg sodium

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WATERMELON BASIL-MINT AGUA FRESCA

1/2 cup sugar

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1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves

2 tablespoons chopped mint

8 cups cubed watermelon

3 tablespoons lime juice

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1. Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small pot; reduce heat and boil gently until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the basil and mint and cool to room temperature. Pour through a strainer, pressing on the solids to extract flavor; discard solids.

2. Combine the syrup, watermelon and lime juice in a blender and puree. Chill at least 2 hours or overnight; stir before serving. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 129 calories, 1 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 0 fat, 0 saturated fat, 3 mg sodium

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WATERMELON-PEACH-BLUEBERRY POPSICLES

2 1/2 cups cubed watermelon

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 peach, cut in thin slices

1/4 cup blueberries

1. Puree watermelon, honey and lime juice in a blender. Taste the mixture and add honey if needed.

2. Divide the mixture evenly among 8 popsicle molds; distribute the peaches and blueberries into the 8 molds. Insert the popsicle sticks and freeze overnight. Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 40 calories, 1 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 0 g fat, 1 mg sodium

TIP: Be sure to wash watermelon before slicing so you don't drag surface bacteria into the flesh with your knife.