Last summer was the first time I ever bought watermelon. Hard as it may be to believe, that is the truth! Honest! Before that, I rarely, if ever, ate it. I was especially put off by having to spit out the pits. Yuck!
The development of seedless watermelons eventually got me thinking about getting some. One day last summer, when I was shopping at Wegmans, I finally took the plunge. Being a watermelon neophyte, I asked one of the produce guys for help. He suggested a “mini” – larger than, say, a honeydew but much smaller than the normal watermelon. Since I wasn’t buying for a crowd, it made sense to get one of those. When I sliced it open, I was a little surprised that there were seeds, but they were white and tiny, so no need to spit them out. The flesh was sweet. I became a watermelon convert.
A few weeks ago, the NY Times‘ Diner’s Journal published a recipe from Chef Daniel Humm that combined grilled watermelon with tomatoes. He told the Times that he got the idea for grilling the watermelon several years ago while having tapas in Spain, where they served slices of grilled melon. According to the article, he put his creation on Eleven Madison Park’s menu in May. Funny thing is, despite how regularly we dine there, I don’t recall seeing it on the menu. In any case, here was my chance to replicate it.
Not having any watermelon on hand, I went off to get some. Wegmans didn’t have any minis, and I wasn’t about to buy a huge whole one. Over to Delicious Orchards. There, they cut up large watermelons and sell the chunks by the pound. Most were way too big, but I lucked out and found a chunk that was a good size for me.
The New Jersey tomato crop has been terrific this summer. I already had a few in the house but picked up some more at D.O.
I made the dish a few nights ago.
The idea is to grill the watermelon on one side just to give it a smokey flavor but not to cook it through.
Though the recipe calls for just one watermelon round for each serving, I used two, placing the second round so that the grill marks are visible.
My plating was not as artful and elegant as Chef Humm’s. Nevertheless, like his Strawberry Gazpacho (my post about it is here), this was a Humm-dinger of a delish dish! As though anyone would think it wouldn’t be?
For the recipe and to see Chef Humm’s plating, click here.