That creamy yellow spot on the belly of the watermelon tells us that this guy was sitting on the ground, ripening in the sun. Inside, the watermelon is bright red, turgid with juice, with a crisp texture and a thin rind.
All week, we carve out chunks from the melon and slurp the abundant nectar, sticky juice running down our chins. That is the way I like my watermelon: just the way it is, "simply unfooled around with" :) But Jai and Bee came up with their challenge, and I went hunting for a recipe. If you can call it that! This summery drink is simply watermelon juice spiked with ginger and lemon. The inspiring recipe called for ginger *syrup*, but with the sweetness of the melon, I felt that it was completely unnecessary to add all that extra sugar to the drink. Also, a few chunks and fibers in the drink don't bother me at all, so I don't strain the watermelon juice. This can hardly be called an exact recipe...the proportion of ginger, lemon and sugar are all to taste.
(This icon means that we are celebrating local produce fresh from the Farmers' Market. Many thanks to Alanna for sharing this icon with her fellow bloggers!)
WaterLemon Ginger Ale(adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe, makes 6-10 servings)
1/2 of a medium-large watermelon
Juice of 2 lemons
3/4 cup finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup sugar
1. Make the ginger infusion by combining ginger, sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring it to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Let it cool down completely, then strain it to remove the ginger pieces.
2. Make watermelon juice by cutting the watermelon into cubes, removing seeds if there are any, and putting the cubes through a food processor (a blender may also work).
3. In a large bowl, combine the watermelon juice, lemon juice and ginger infusion. Taste and adjust sugar if necessary. Serve chilled, adding ice cubes just before serving.
Verdict: I served this drink to friends a couple of evenings ago, and we all loved it! It was utterly refreshing. One of my friends said that it reminded her of sugarcane juice- and once she said it, I had to agree: this drink has many of the same flavor notes of sugarcane juice, something that I really miss drinking :(
You could add some black salt or chaat masala to this drink, as a variation. I like it just the way it is.
This week is all about exploration and experimentation, as we cook with unfamilar veggies for the X of Indian Vegetables. Just to remind all enthusiastic participants, entries are due Saturday!