Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Crowd Sourcing Wonderful Watermelon Recipes

Watermelon pasta

Watermelon? you say.

Yes, I know, watermelon are months away from our farm stands and markets. But during last year's season, I had a lot of it. This may sound like an embarrassment of riches to you (and to me during these cool days of early Spring), however, in September, I was doing whatever I could to avoid throwing away the weekly supply of mottled green orbs I found in my CSA box. Procrastinator that I am, I pureed and froze cups and cups of the stuff.

As I sorted recently through my freezer to make room for the new growing season, I came across my six mason jars filled with coral colored liquid. Now, what to do with it? I brought my question to the crowd.

On Twitter, I relayed my dilemma. I explained that we don't eat too many desserts, nor do we drink cocktails often. Therefore, sorbet and margarita were off the table.

Two suggestions stood out. From a grower and seller of many watermelon came the idea of jelly. The second was a pasta sauce.

In two days, I've depleted my supply and crowd sourced two new magnificent recipes.

Cappelini with Watermelon, Prosciutto and Goat Cheese
Serves 2

2 cups pureed and strained watermelon puree
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 green onions, whites finely chopped, 1 inch of the greens finely sliced
2 tablespoons heavy cream
freshly ground pepper and kosher salt to taste
3 slices prosciutto, thinly sliced
1 ounce goat cheese
1/3 cup pea greens
1/4 pound cappelini

Pour the puree into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the liquid to about 1/3 cup. Strain the reduction into a small bowl. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the cappelini to the pot and cook according to the package. Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the whites of the onions and cook until softened. Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute. Whisk in the reduced watermelon juice until the sauce seems slightly viscous and thickened. Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Drain the pasta, add the prosciutto and coating all of the strands of the pasta with the sauce. Scoop the sauced pasta onto plates or shallow bowls. Sprinkle on the goat cheese, scallion greens and pea greens. Serve immediately.

watermelon jelly

Watermelon-Basil Jelly

2 cups watermelon puree
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 package liquid pectin
3 basil stems

Whisk the first three ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the basil stems. Turn the heat to medium high and bring the watermelon to a boil. Cook until the mixture is thickened and reaches 200 F. Remove the basil stems and pour the jelly into hot sterilized jars. Cool to room temperature and store in a dark place until ready to use.

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