I was enjoying Southern Living’s recent contest for readers to submit their very best summer side dishes. The contest included a “Best Surprise” category: something off-the-wall and unexpected that took the appraisers by storm.
The winning reader submitted her version of a “Sweet, Salty, and Spicy Watermelon Refresher”. She stated that the dish is a rehydrater on summer days and helps cleanse the palate from barbecue or other picnic fare. I had to try and see.
We served this with grilled chicken at our July 4th luncheon. It made volumes and literally was as tasty a week later (having been refrigerated in an airtight container) as it was on firecracker day. I didn’t have the jicama called for but was able to locate everything else to toss into this colorful mix. And talk about a beautiful presentation on the table!
A winner by my estimation; I love surprises.
Sweet, Salty, and Spicy Watermelon Refresher
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 jalapeno or 2 serrano peppers, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint
1 small seedless watermelon
1 small cantaloupe
2 English cucumbers
Combine lime juice and next 5 ingredients. Place red onion, cilantro, and mint in a large bowl. Dice watermelon and cantaloupe into 1-inch pieces; add to bowl. Peel and dice cucumbers, jicama, and mangoes; add to bowl. Stir in lime juice mixture. Cover and chill 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 10 to 12 servings. (Source: June 2012 Southern Living)