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seedless watermelon, lunch and learn

Ah, the joy of seedless watermelons!  It may be fun to eat a slice of watermelon outside in the summer sun and spit out the seeds, even having contests to see whose seeds will “go the distance”… but cooking with watermelons with all those mature black seeds, is no fun at all!  Seedless watermelons were developed some 40 to 50 years ago, but it’s only been in the last decade or so that they have become a staple in the grocery stores. Seedless watermelons still have white seed coats, which is where the seed did not mature and are fine to swallow while eating. For a more in-depth description and scientific look at seedless watermelons and to answer the question everyone asks, “how do they grow seedless watermelons without a seed?” go to this link – very interesting and informative.  While you’re reading and learning, enjoy this refreshing melon salad for lunch (or dinner). The “lunch and learn” in the title is a happy memory of when I was a room mom in my kids’ grade school days and parents would come in at lunchtime and read to the kids in small groups while we all ate out sack lunches… good times!


Melon Salad with Pomegranate-Cabernet Vinaigrette

1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil

4-pound seedless watermelon, rind removed and flesh cubed (about 6 cups watermelon cubes)
1 pound cantaloupe, seeded, rind remove,d and flesh cubed (about 2 cups melon cubes)
1 cup crumbled Greek feta (about 4 ounces)
1/3 cup dried cranberries (craisins)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped tarragon leaves
1/3 cup toasted almond slices

Vinaigrette: In a small saucepan mix together the pomegranate juice and Cabernet wine, and reduce to 1/3 cup.  Stir the sugar and balsamic vinegar into hot reduced pomegranate-Cabernet, and set aside to cool.  When at room temperature, whisk in olive oil, taste, and season with salt and pepper.

Mix the watermelon and cantaloupe cubes together in a large bowl, and gently fold in the feta, dried cranberries, and tarragon.

Drizzle salad with vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste. Eat within a couple of hours or the watermelon will break down and the salad’s texture will suffer.

Divide among salad plates and sprinkle with almonds.

Serves 8

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