The Easiest Way To Make Watermelon Taste So Much Better

Save your summer BBQ with just a few ingredients.



In case you missed it, watermelon is everywhere. Jamba Juice has two new watermelon smoothies in stores, Dunkin’ announced a brand-new Kiwi Watermelon Refresher and Watermelon Burst Donut for its summer menu, and even Auntie Anne’s is getting in on the action with a swirled Watermelon Lemonade Frost.

It’s no surprise that watermelon is suddenly popping up everywhere, as it’s a quintessential summer treat. You can enjoy it as a refreshing drink, simple summer dessert, or tossed in a refreshing salad. But all of those seasonal favorites start with ripe, great-tasting watermelon.

We know all the tricks for picking good melon but if—despite your best efforts—you cut through the green-striped exterior only to find underripe or less-than-perfect fruit, don’t toss it. Instead, try this easy trick to enhance the flavor of your watermelon in just 30 minutes.

Why You Should Be Marinating Watermelon

Marinating isn’t just for meat. It’s a technique that can benefit a variety of foods. When your watermelon is lackluster, all it takes are a few simple ingredients to boost the fruit’s natural flavor.

Start by cutting the watermelon and choosing a vessel for marinating; cubed pieces work well in large mixing bowls, while triangle slices are great on rimmed sheet pans. Then, simply whisk your marinade together, pour it over the watermelon, and gently toss until coated. Allow the watermelon to sit for at least 30 minutes (preferably in the fridge) to absorb the flavors before serving.


How To Make a Marinade for Watermelon

To build a quick marinade, consider the following ingredients—but be sure to choose those that complement the meal you’re serving and consider your personal preferences.

  • Salt: Some under-ripe watermelons may be slightly tart or not have much of a taste at all. And, we know that salt balances sweetness. Adding salt can mute any bitter notes and allow the sweet flavors to become more pronounced. A pinch of flaky sea salt or finely ground sea salt works best.

  • Sugar: Sprinkling your watermelon with sugar will give it a sweeter taste, but that’s not all sugar can do. Like salting a cucumber, adding sugar draws excess water out of the fruit, concentrating its flavor. Besides granulated sugar, you can use honey or agave syrup in your marinade. Adjust the sweetness to your liking, but generally, 1 to 2 tablespoons should be sufficient for a medium-sized watermelon.

  • Acid: Acidic ingredients work magic in recipes. They tenderize meat, make pie crust extra flaky, and give cake a tender crumb. Lemon juice, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, and orange juice all add an acidic element to your marinade that quickly punches up the flavor. About 1/4 cup will be enough to marinate a medium-sized watermelon.

  • Fresh herbs and spices: Herbs like mint, basil, and rosemary add freshness that complements and enhances the watermelon's natural sweetness. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped herbs to your marinade or sprinkle them on top before serving. If you like spicy watermelon, adding a pinch of cayenne or chili powder adds a smoky quality that, when paired with granulated sugar, makes for a delicious and unique-tasting treat.

You don’t need an ingredient from every category—feel free to use only one, or mix and match. Try a citrusy marinade with fresh lime juice, honey, and a pinch of salt. For a richer and more complex option, try balsamic vinegar with a generous sprinkle of sugar or drizzle of honey. The options are endless. Once you start marinating watermelon, your only regret will be not trying it sooner.

Read the original article on All Recipes.