Watermelon 3 ways

It’s summer already and the mercury is rising. One of my favorite things about summer is fresh watermelon. It is cool and refreshing on a hot summer day. Watermelon is low in calories, but not in sugar and offers tons of vitamin C, A and B. In fact sweet, juicy watermelons are actually packed with some of the most important antioxidants in nature. So go on and enjoy a guilt-free summer of watermelons in a variety of forms.

Most people enjoy raw sliced watermelon but you can actually do a lot more with it. Here I will show you how to incorporate watermelon into 3 different courses. This is just a start. The possibilities are endless!

Watermelon martini

(recipe courtesy of Chef Art Smith)

Servings: Makes 6 large martinis

  • 4 cups watermelon (with the rinds, seeds removed)
  • 1 cup lemon vodka
  • 1/2 cup cointreau or triple sec
  • 2 limes , squeezed
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (or sugar substitute)
  • Garnish ; pieces of watermelon, lime, sugar cane

In a blender, combine the watermelon chunks and puree. Remove pureed fruit and pour into a pitcher and keep very cold, even a little frozen to make it icy.

For two generous martinis, add one cup of watermelon puree, 1/4 cup of lemon vodka, and one tablespoon of cointreau or triple sec to the blender with three ice cubes and blend. Pour into a nice festive glass, garnish with watermelon chunks, limes and a stick of sugar cane.

Watermelon salad

(makes 4)

  • 2 cups watermelon, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds, lightly roasted
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 4 oz. crumbled plain feta cheese
  • 4 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar

Arrange the arugula on 4 salad plates. Divided the watermelon and spread over the arugula on each of the plates. Top with feta cheese and sesame seeds. Drizzle the vinegar and enjoy.

Watermelon and mint sorbet

(Recipe courtesy of Ciao Bella)

  • 6 cups chopped seedless watermelon
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, minced

Make a simple syrup by mixing the sugar in water on low heat until completely dissolved. Let cool. In a blender, combine the watermelon, lemon juice and simple syrup and blend until smooth.  Add the mint leaves. Pour into an ice cream machine & churn according to directions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze overnight.  Serve cold. This recipe makes 2 quarts.

An ice cream success story

After the success story of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in the last century, we have a new winner! Recently established High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet is a unique ice cream concept that is catching on like wildfire. Just within a few months of their operations, they are already supplying thousands of scoops of ice creams, gelatos and sorbets to hotels, restaurants and now, Whole Foods.

Over the past weekend, I got an opportunity to get a tour of their facility in Chamblee-Dunwoody, GA. High Road was formed by two recent Kennesaw State University Executive MBA graduates, Keith Schroeder and Hunter Thornton. Both were young, ambitious and entrepreneurial. With Keith’s background as a chef at some of the top hotels, Hunter’s experience in sales, and the help of their fellow MBA students; it was the perfect ice cream storm.

High Road’s distinguishing factor is their use of local, organic and sustainable products. They use pure cane instead of sugar in all their bases. Only the finest chocolate, spices and teas are bought from farmers around the world.

The second distinction in their products is their flavors. These are not your traditional vanilla-chocolate-strawberry ice creams. A lot of thought and research has gone into the production of the unique characteristics flavors incorporating spices, alcohol and fusion inspirations. In addition to the Mexican chocolate & chili, masala chai, roasted beet & basil, gin & tonic, etc. for adventurous eaters, they also offer the straightforward ice cream flavors suitable for all ages. For a complete menu selection, take a peek at their web site but don’t blame me if your mouth starts to water!

The Mother’s day weekend kept High Road really busy. Working round the clock making ice cream, Keith even brought in a bed where he spent the nights. “We have a lot more demand than we are able to supply” said Keith, who already has plan for expansions. He has placed an order for more machines than would enable them to manufacture $1million worth of products and is going to take over the entire building before the end of the year. So, what’s next for these high rollers? They are looking to expand into Asia and take over the global market, perhaps open retail locations as well.

To get your own high, visit High Road at 2241 Perimeter Park Dr., Suite 7, Atlanta from 10am-1pm every Saturday. They are open to the public for tours and tastings.