CREATIVE FAMILY FUN: Enjoying watermelon, family style

By Donna Erickson

A delicious watermelon checkerboard salad on a summer day. (Photo by Donna Erickson)

It has been a watermelon summer! The luscious, juicy treat has made a regular appearance in our soups, salads, grilled sides, as well as sliced up on large platters for the perfect al fresco big-crowd dessert.

Summer days are going by too quickly, so grab a fresh melon today and let it quench your thirst, satisfy your sweet tooth and provide lots of “good-for-you” vitamins, like A, B-6 and C.

Here are some creative ideas for serving local watermelon during this peak season:



— 10 chunks of ripe watermelon and 8 chunks of ripe honeydew melon cut into 3/4-inch cubes

— 1/4 cup feta cheese

— 2 fresh mint leaves chopped

— 2 basil leaves chopped (optional)

— Olive oil and white balsamic vinegar, or your favorite vinaigrette dressing

Let kids arrange the cubes in a checkerboard pattern on salad plates. Sprinkle feta, mint and basil on top. Dress with a drizzle of olive oil and white balsamic or a vinaigrette dressing. A pinch of sea salt tastes good, too.

Alternate idea: Replace two honeydew cubes with cube-shaped avocado.


Cut three cups of watermelon flesh into chunks. Remove seeds and liquefy in a blender. Pour into ice-cube trays and freeze. For a satisfying cool-down beverage on a hot afternoon, fill a tall glass with the watermelon ice cubes and orange or grapefruit juice. Garnish with a whole strawberry or a thick triangular slice of watermelon with the pointed end slid onto the rim of the glass.



When serving grilled chicken or beef kebabs, keep the food-on-a-stick theme and let one of your school-age kids skewer chunks of watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple and kiwi on short wooden skewers. Strawberries look especially appealing on either end of the stick. Enjoy the fruit dipped in small dishes of fruit-flavored yogurt.


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© 2022 Donna Erickson

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