Hundreds of years ago, resourceful explorers used watermelons as canteens, because the hefty fruits are 92 percent H20 (the name might have been a clue). Today, watermelons are in high demand with a different type of adventurer — the culinary kind. Master chefs and mixologists are finding new ways to use the watermelon, which has taken a starring turn in everything from cooling cocktails to sunny salads. “Watermelon means summer to me,” says HÃ¤rth’s executive chef, Tom Elder. “It’s a classic American fruit that we can all relate to.” Even when it’s unrecognizable.
ZATINYA’S SEARED HALLOUMI AND MELON SALATA
“People don’t associate watermelon with Mediterranean cooking,” concedes head chef Michael Costa. “But it’s actually quite prevalent.” Case in point is the Aegean eatery’s seared Halloumi (a Greek cheese made with sheep’s and goat’s milk) and melon salata ($9.50). A slab of the griddled cheese sits at the center of the plate, surrounded by a ring of compressed watermelon cubes, light green squares of pickled watermelon rind and half orbs of roasted cherry tomato.
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