'From the Harvest' recipes [Pictures]
Check out the recipes from our "From the Harvest" series, focusing on ingredients that are in season each week.
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Grilled watermelon salad with mint and queso fresco( Photo and styling by John Houser III, Special to The Baltimore Sun / August 1, 2012 )
Grilled watermelon salad with mint and queso fresco
Makes: 10 servings
3 pounds watermelon, sliced into 1 1/2-inch thick round steaks (rind left on)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mint, minced
juice of 1 lemon
4 ounces crumbled queso fresco (a cheese available at most farmers' markets or groceries)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Rub the outside of the watermelon steaks with olive oil and place over red-hot coals, a gas grill on high or a grill pan that's been heating for a while on the stove. Grill steaks for 5-6 minutes per side until there are good grill marks on the steaks. (Don't try for cross-hatches: That will just overcook the watermelon.) Remove the watermelon from the heat and let it cool to the touch. Cut off the rind (reserve if you want to make pickles; see tip below) and cut the flesh into cubes. Place melon cubes into a bowl and mix in the salt, mint, lemon juice and queso fresco. Serve in bowls with a splash of extra-virgin olive oil to finish.
Tip: You can make a fantastic pickle with the rind you cut off of the watermelon. Cut the watermelon rinds into 1-inch lengths and place into a glass jar. Combine 2 cups water, 4 ounces sugar, 1 ounce salt, 10 dried allspice berries, 10 whole black peppers, five whole cloves and one cinnamon stick in a small saucepan. Bring contents to a boil on high heat. Turn heat down to medium and simmer for five minutes. Pour the hot liquid over rinds. Let cool. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.