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
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
WATERMELON BASIL-MINT AGUA FRESCA
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped mint
8 cups cubed watermelon
3 tablespoons lime juice
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
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.