July 25, 2015

25 Awesome Watermelon Recipes for Summer


As soon as July loomed into sight again and I began planning out this month's posts, the first thing that sprang to mind for the recipe post was something pertaining to the succulent summertime classic that is watermelon.

I've only met a couple of people (interestingly, one of my grandpas was amongst them) who didn’t madly adore watermelon. Hit on a truly ripe, juicy specimen and it is arguably amongst the most delicious, satisfying, enjoyable foods ever (not to mention that it's healthy for you too!).



{Really, is there any more iconic or appealing summertime staple on the fruit front than watermelon? We've been tucking into it for centuries now and likely will for many more to come. Vintage image source.}


Like many folks, I have plenty of happy memories of eating watermelon throughout my life and though it is hard for some of my medical conditions to handle it in bigger quantities, I still indulge in a slice or two anytime we have one in the house. It is too perfect and too tasty a food to back away from unless it really is a matter of life and death for a person, if you ask me (assuming you're a fan to begin with that is!).

While I have no doubt that there were various watermelon recipes back in the day that went beyond just "cut and serve (salt or sugar optional)" for watermelon - in fact, I've seen some in old school cookbooks over the years - a whole evening spent searching online did not turn up any vintage ads or recipes pages for any of them, aside from this one for Watermelon Salad that I blogged about two summers ago and a few newspaper style clippings for watermelon rind pickles.

So instead of throwing in the towel on my plans for a (second) watermelon recipe post, I decided that I'd try something I don't usually do here and instead roundup of a selection of absolutely fantastic sounding watermelon recipes from across the web and share them all here with you today.

After all, it the final Saturday in what is often the hottest month of the year in the Western Hemisphere and if that doesn't call for an array of tongue pleasing watermelon recipes that, for the most part, are a snap to throw together even on the most roasty-toasty of days, I don't know what does!


 photo 3371cb6d7208c7f91a51450154f7a01c_zpsgbzwnkcy.jpg
{All photos are care of their respective sources, which can be reached by clicking on the recipe link below each image. Unlike vintage images which are often much more in the public domain and for which the reproduction and sharing of is more liberally tolerated, I fully understand that some food bloggers do not like to have their photos shared on other blogs, even when a link back to their site is provided. If such is the case and your photo appears here, please let me know by email and I'll happily take it down or credit it in a different way that you're happy with. Thank you!}






Yummmmm!!! Which of these watermelon culinary masterpieces and simple stunners appeals to you most of us? I'm really, really digging the froyo pops and watermelon "cake", but think they all sound seriously fantastic!

As I do like to generally keep the recipes that I share here either vintage or classics from my own family (which are usually vintage at this point themselves), I don't foresee taking this approach all that often with recipe posts, but it could be fun for a nice chance of pace every now and then. If you like this style of recipe roundup post, please don't hesitate to let me know in the comments, I'd love to get your feedback on it.




{Run, don't walk, to the nearest grocery store, produce shop, or farmer's market and snap up a prize watermelon on the double. Your taste buds and core temperature will both thank you! Vintage image source.}


Do yourself a delicious favour and rush out to the store (or to the fridge or garden, if you already have a melon to hand) and pick yourself up a big, ripe, gorgeous verdant coloured watermelon to tuck into this weekend. 

With the mercury still throw the roof, believe me when I say you'll be glad that you did! :) 

32 comments:

  1. I love watermelon, so does my little one. We have some in the fridge at the moment, these are some great recipes. Thanks for posting

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    1. My pleasure, sweet dear! With Tony away this summer and me only being able to safely eat a few bites of watermelon at a time, I haven't had much yet this season and I think that's a good part of the reason why it was so heavily on my mind! :)

      Have a fun filled weekend!
      ♥ Jessica

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  2. I love watermelon so much! It's awesome just with a little sprinkle of salt on top, so refreshing on a hot day. The watermelon champagne cocktail sounds beyond belief. Now, I just have to figure out how to lug a watermelon home from the store...

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    1. I love it with salt, too. My family never did that growing up, but I discovered it in my teen years and was hooked, especially because I have more of a salty tooth than a sweet one.

      Sometimes, I've found, if you ask in the produce department, they will cut up a large melon (or pumpkin) for you free of charge and then it's a lot easier to bring home, especially if you're doing so on foot, bike, or public transit.

      Have a fabulous weekend!
      ♥ Jessica

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  3. Oh my watermelon goodness! This post is heaven.

    Watermelon is my antidote for hot summer months. Even though we suffer a heavy storm at the moment, and summer is nowhere to be found, I still like watermelon and I'll definitely make a couple of these recipes. Thanks so much for this awesome post, Jessica!

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    1. Thank you very much, sweet gal! Though not cold, the weather has turned decided overcast here today as well. Hmmm, that's strange for these parts in July for sure! Clearly Mother Nature didn't see today's watermelon filled post and get the memo about sunshine being a must for the last weekend in July! :D

      Have a stellar Saturday!!!
      ♥ Jessica

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  4. I also have so many memories with watermelon! I can't just choose one recipe, and I thank you for s much inspiration! I loved the lemonades - raspeberry with watermelon, miam miam - and the popsicle with kiwi, and the salad with vinaigrette and cheese, appetizers... soooo many things, I will for sure try some, believe me! Hope you are having a very nice weekend, please enjoy it :)
    DenisesPlanet.com

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    1. It's my sincere pleasure, dear Denise. Thank you very much for your lovely comment. Of all the dishes here, I think it's the classic pairing of feta cheese and watermelon that I'm most craving at this precise moment in time.

      Have a marvelous, fun filled weekend!
      ♥ Jessica

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  5. Oh, all of these look great! I love watermelon, especially spitting the seeds. ;) My favorite this summer has been cubed watermelon, frozen, then blended with water and mint leaves. I got the recipe from Rookie magazine, and it is incredibly refreshing and very soothing when I have a sore throat.

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    1. That sounds lip-lickingly fantastic. Yum, yum, yum!!! Thank you for sharing, I'll definitely be giving it a try and love your idea of using it for sore throats. Very smart!

      Have a beautiful weekend!
      ♥ Jessica

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  6. I think you could call a lot of these recipes "vintage appropriate" and what's good for fashion is good for food, in my opinion! I'm actually not a huge fan of watermelon, although I don't mind it, but it is the fibrous texture that I'm not keen on, especially in just eating a big chunk of it. So many of these recipes would be a much nice option for my taste, changing the texture or mixing it up with others. The ice creams and popsicles are calling out to be in particular right now (even though I'm currently sitting by the fire!).

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    1. Very much so - great call! I think that, if you're more of a fan of them, you could swap in honeydew or cantaloupe melon here in just about every case. Mango, too, could sub for the watermelon in many cases. Those do all have something of a fibrous texture, but less, I'd say than watermelon.

      Thanks for your lovely comment. Perhaps you could find or make watermelon flavoured marshmallows to put in hot cocoa :) (okay, now I think that sounds delicious and want to do it next winter myself! :D).

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  7. I never knew watermelon was so versatile! I've never really liked the fruit, but my kids love it, and Chris, my eldest loves to cook, so I think I need to show him this! x

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  8. What fun! A year ago we did a 1950's history presentation in costume and cooked food from President Eisenhower's personal recipe file which included...a unique watermelon dish! A few photos are here. Hmmm...I have some updating to do of all the cooking and activities we did.
    http://teacupsinthegarden.blogspot.com/2014/08/1950s-history-presentationthe-end-of.html
    Laurie

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    1. Hi Laurie, what a cool concept for a history presentation. I appreciate you sharing that link with me and am off to read it right now.

      Have a beautiful week ahead!
      ♥ Jessica

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  9. ... I'm one of those people; I don't like watermelon! In fact, I don't like any melon... There's something about the common taste they share that I can't stand. I'll leave quietly now ;) x

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    1. No need to slink off in the slightest, sweet dear. We each have certain foods we're not partial to and if melons are one for you, there's nothing wrong with that. Perhaps, if some of these recipes did appeal to you to the point that you wanted to try them all the same, you could swap in another fruit - mango, papaya, peaches, or berries would work in various dishes here, as could pineapple in a few at least, amongst other fruits, I'm sure.

      Big hugs & happy Monday wishes,
      ♥ Jessica

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  10. Denise @BuyRVintageJunkJuly 26, 2015 at 7:39 AM

    Yes, you should keep these recipe posts coming! What a variety (who knew, Beef and Watermelon stir fry??) and there are some really great ideas in those recipes. :) When I worked at the local Senior Center everyone went crazy for Watermelon Pie. It became apparent that this kind of pie was a summer tradition 'back in the day' and the whole family really looked forward to it.

    Ironically enough, until this year I wasn't so wild about watermelon-although it's a huge thing here in Indiana. This summer we've had watermelon in our fridge non-stop. It's so easy to dice it into bite size chunks, put it in a bowl, and have a snack for any time of the day. It's cool, refreshing and sooo good for you!

    Take care Jessica!

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    1. Hi lovely Denise, thank you very much for casting your vote in favour of future recipe posts like this. I wouldn't want them to eclipse my usual vintage recipe offerings, but they are a fun supplement to them, especially with highly seasonal ingredients, like watermelon here.

      It truly is one of summer's loveliest and most refreshing offerings - particularly if you hit upon a truly perfect melon. My mouth practically starts watering at the mere thought! :)

      Wishing you a terrific week ahead,
      ♥ Jessica

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  11. Ah this is stunning! Not only is watermelon one of my very favorite things to eat in the summer, as it provokes such fond memories and tastes, but the vintages adds! They're perfect!

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  12. mmmhhhh!!!
    love watermelons! thank you for the huge recipe collection!
    the best watermelon ever was in romania - sold by the farmer on a tiny village´s market directly from the rumbly horse wagon! soooo sweet and delicious. since then i´m totally spoiled for the supermarket melons. because they do not grow here the imported ones are usually not very ripe and often completely tasteless. :-(
    so we have to drive to the next big city to find a private fruit store who takes proud in selling really ripe stuff!
    (this counts for every kind of fruit - supermarkets here are very bad at this department, only veggies are a bit better)
    so enjoy you local melons and think of me sometimes you bite in them :-)))
    hugs&kisses!!!!

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    1. It's my sincere pleasure - though I can only take so much credit here, as it really belongs to the talented food bloggers (and the like) who shared all these mouth wateringly delicious recipes in the first place. I just corralled them and added my own commentary into the mix. :)

      Store bought melons around here often leave much to be desired as well (they aren't grown locally - unlike many other fruits that are). Not always, but sometimes for sure. And despite all the supposed tricks and tips (thumping, looking for a piece of stem still attached, scent, weight, etc), as with most all fruit - to paraphrase a quote from the TV show Seinfeld - fruit is always a gamble! :)

      Thank you very much for both of your great blog comments this weekend. I hope that you had a sunny, fantastic one!

      ♥ Jessica

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  13. I must admit I'm not very fond of fruits, except strawberries, apricots and prunes. Having spent some holidays with my husband's Italian relatives where you are forced to eat several slices of watermelon per day, I am traumatised. (This may be because the watermelon usually is offered after all those opulent meals, when you're already stuffed.) However, looking at all the delicious ideas offered here, I could imagine to overcome my watermelon-phobia and try one of those. My husband will be delighted!

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    1. Really, any food that you eat in such a setting could stand to put off you off it for sure. I'm sorry that you've some less than enjoyable encounters with watermelon. If you do try and of these dishes out, I hope that they help turn things around for you with this delicious, satisfying, refreshing fruit.

      Many thanks for your comment. Have a marvelous Monday!
      ♥ Jessica

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  14. So I dug out some vintage cookbooks to see if there were any recipes for you. Apparently all of them are dealing with the non-pink part of the watermelon, as it was obvious what to do with that! Eat it! :-P The winner with the most was the Searchlight Recipe Book, published by Household Magazine (copyrights 1931, 1937, 1946)

    Candied Watermelon: Drain watermelon honey until all the tiny particles of melon are comparatively free from sirup (actual spelling! :-P). Prepare a heavy sirup made of 2 parts sugar and 1 part water. Tint a delicate green with food coloring. Flavor with mint. Add the drained particles. Simmer until nicely colored. Drain. Roll in granulated sugar. Dry in very slow oven (300F). A portion of the sirup may be colored pink and flavored with rose or raspberry before the melon is added. If the natural color is desired, roll the drained particles in sugar, and dry. Any variety of flavors and colors may be obtained. -- The Household Searchlight

    Watermelon Preserves: Pare and cut watermelon rind into pieces 2 inches long and 3/4 inches wide. Cover with brine made by dissolving 1 tablespoon salt in 1 quart water. Let stand overnight. Drain. COver with water and boil 10 minutes. Drain. Cover with a heavy sirup made of 1 part sugar and 1 part water. Add 1 thinly sliced lemon to each 3 quarts rind. Add whole spices if desired. Cook slowy until rind is tender and clear. - The Household Searchlight

    Watermelon Honey: Pare watermelon. Discard rind and all of the pink portion. Grind white portion through food chopper, using the coarse knife. Use the following proportions: 10 pounds chopped melon rind, 2 lemons, 2 quarts cold water, 1/4 pound preserved ginger or ginger root, 10 pounds sugar. Combine melon and water. Cook slowly until melon is clear. Add sugar, sliced lemon, and ginger, cut in small pieces. Cook slowly until thick. - Mrs. Mary V. Jones, Scottsville, VA

    Watermelon Pickles: follow directions for preparing cantaloup pickles.
    Cantaloupe Pickles: Ing: Cantaloup rind, 4 cups sugar, 3 cups water, 1 tablespoon Allspice, 1 tablespoon whole cloves, 1 large stick cinnamon, 1 cup vinegar. Select melons with are slightly under ripe. Remove rind and all soft portion. Cut into portions suitable for serving. Cover with a brine made by dissolving 4 tablespoons salt in 1 quart water. Let stand 3 hours. Drain. Rinse in cold water. Add rind to sirup made of remaining ingredients. There should be sufficient sirup to cover rind. Boil 10 minutes. Let stand overnight. Boil slowly until rind is clear. - The Household Searchlight

    End part 1 of 2

    -- Tegan

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  15. Part 2 of 2


    My 1973 edition of The Farmhouse Cookbook by Yvonne Young Tarr has a few more recipes as well, including everyone's favorite watermelon basket!

    Watermelon Pickles (very similar, but with canning directions): Ing: 6 pounds (1/2 large melon) watermelon rind, 3/4 cup uniodized salt, 3 quarts plus 3 cups water, 2 trays (2 quarts) ice cubes, 3 cups white vinegar, 8-9 cups granulated sugar, depending upon sweetness desired, 1 tablespoon whole cloves, 6 1" pieces cinnamon stick, 1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded. Yields four to five pints. Pare rind and all pink edges from the watermelon. Cut into 1-inch squares or fancy shapes as desired. You should have about 3 quarts of rind. Cover with brine made by mixing the salt with 3 quarts cold water. Add ice cubes. Let stand 5 or 6 hours. Drain; rinse in cold water. Cover with cold water, bring to a simmer, and cook until fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Combine vinegar, sugar, remaining water, and spices (tied in a clean, thin white cloth). Boil 5 minutes and pour over the watermelon. Add spice bag and lemon slices. Let stand overnight. Heat watermelon in syrup to boiling and cook until watermelon is translucent, about 10 minutes. Pack hot pickles loosely into clean, hot 1-pint jars. To each jar add 1 piece cinnamon stick from spice bag; cover with boiling syrup to within 1/2 inch of the top. Adjust jar lids. Process in boiling water for 5 minutes (start to count processing time when water returns to the boil). Remove jars and complete seals if neessary. Set upright on wire rack to cool.

    Brandied Watermelon: Ing: 1 watermelon, brandy. Serves eight. Use a sharp knife to cut a good-size plug about 6-7 inches deep from one end of the watermelon. Reserve the plug. Poke a skewer or any other long, thin, sharp object through the hole and into the watermelon flesh. Pour in as much brandy as the watermelon will absorb, the reinsert the plug. Small skewers inserted through both the plug and melon rind will hold the plug in place, or freezer tape may be used. Place the brandied melon, plug side up, in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, turning from time to time, so that the brandy reaches all the melon flesh.

    Well that was fun! -- Tegan

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    1. Hello dear Tegan, what a tremendously thoughtful comment. I can't recall the last time that someone took it upon themselves to share relevant recipes, in full, in the comments here. Thank you so much for doing so and for time involved with such. You're an awesome, very considerate and generous reader, my dear. I loved seeing these terrific recipes and am sure many of my readers will as well. The watermelon honey recipe in particular is calling my name and I definitely plan to try it out. You rock!!!

      Tons of hugs & appreciative thanks,
      ♥ Jessica

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  16. Such a lot of delicious inspiration! My all time favourite is watermelon salat with feta cheese, the sweet and the salt is sooo god together. But I have to try Watermelon Champagne Cocktail very soon. Unfortunately, watermelons in Denmark are not very sweet, indeed quite tasteless. We have eaten them a lot in Italy where they are fabulous. Wishing you a lovely day, dear. :)

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    1. Yum, yes, majorly!!! That is by far one of my favourite watermelon recipes ever, too. I could happily live on it from June to September - if not the whole year 'round! :)

      Tony raves about the watermelons (and produce in general) from his homeland and says that the best melons he's ever had were from Italy, too. I really look forward to trying them one day when I eventually get to visit there for the first time.

      Big hugs & happy Tuesday wishes,
      ♥ Jessica

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  17. These look amazing… even to someone like me, who like your grandparents… do not like watermelon.
    However I am making an effort on eating fruits, even it not madly in love with their taste.

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  18. Amazing collection of recipes!

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    1. Thank you very much, I'm delighted to know that you enjoyed this post. I hope that the weather is still nice and warm on your end so that you can try out at least a couple that are really calling to you.

      Have an awesome August!
      ♥ Jessica

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