Garden, Plant, Cook!

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Bradford Watermelon "Making Lemonade out of Lemons" or Salad out of Damaged Melon

Dear Folks,

When life gives you lemons (challenges) make lemonade!  That is the happy way of looking at something unexpected.  Well, folks, I've got a great recipe for you, simple and tasty using a damaged, immature Bradford Watermelon.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the heirloom Bradford Watermelon I am so excited about its progress in our gardens.

Then several days ago, Deane noticed damage to the end of the 'youngest' melon.  Darn, but we thought, well let it go for more seeds.  But I was keeping an eye on it and the damage was extending.  Several readers on facebook said to cut and toss as it would be taking energy from the plant.  True.  But I wanted to see what I could do with the remaining melon.

Back in early August while inspecting the plant, I accidentally broke a baby Bradford off and thought first about composting then realized it really looked like a zucchini and found it a wonderful tasting "cucumber/zucchini" type food.  Read about that here.

So I did harvest the damaged melon yesterday, cut the bad end. (It is either blossom end rot or a critter or bacteria got into it before I could get it up on a brick to keep it off of the soil.)

I cut the damage part off and tasted a slice of the good part and was again so impressed with the taste. Even though it is not fully ripe, the pink is slightly sweet and all of the fruit is pleasant (no bitterness at all) cucumber like taste and texture.

I put it aside and figure I would see about using at least some of it later.

I had errands to do and one of them was to Costco.  While going down an aisle I spotted marinated artichoke hearts and BINGO I knew what I was going to do with my unripe melon.  I LOVE artichoke hearts, marinated or otherwise.  I can eat bowls full.  I've made dips with them - so good and good for you, love to add them to so many things, not just salads but pasta too.  Some years ago I made an Artichoke / Bean Hummus dip for a demo at Boyce Thompson Arboretum.  It was devoured.

Preparing The Melon

I decided to remove the very, very thin skin with a potato peeler.  One of the remarkable things about the Bradford -- the tender, tasty skin -- if I had the time I would have tossed with a bit of oil and salt and roasted them to a crisp - maybe the next one.   :-)

I cut up the melon, removing the seeds (they are not mature enough to germinate) added an equal amount of artichoke hearts and since I did not get this done last night, today I will cut up some celery, add and toss.  The marinade from the artichoke hearts will be enough dressing.  I will think about adding some basil when it mix, but I'm wanting to keep that "cucumber/melon" flavor shining.

As an afterthought I could have saved the seeds, and like the skin tossed with oil and salt and roasted them.  I was tired when I got the chopping done so I did not think about this.  You did know watermelon seeds are edible didn't you? :-)  Just like pumpkin seeds they make a great roasted snack.

The amount of melon in the bowl is just a small part - I have about a half gallon container of more so we are going to be enjoying melon for a few days.  I will have to see what else I can make with this so-good fruit.  If I come up with some keeper recipes I will post.

Coming Up

FREE SEED SHARE - September 30th, 9 a.m. to Noon at the Mesa Farmers Market - watch for more details.

FREE lecture at Mesa Urban Garden, October 1st, 4:30 p.m. - Fall - "Planting Like It Is Spring" in the Desert Garden!  Watch for more details.

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady


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