Grilled Watermelon with Jalapeños, Feta and Honey
For years, my friend Annie and I have played a game that I like to call “Celebrity Friends.” It’s less of a game and more of an intense discussion about which celebrities we think we’d be friends with in real life, which is highly entertaining. And no, you can’t just pick people that you’re obsessed with and claim you would be friends with them. You have to justify your choice and make a strong case for why they would want to hang out with you too.
For example, you know I’m Beyoncé’s biggest fangirl, but I am not under the illusion that we would be besties, nor would I want to be. Beyoncé is intense, and I have a sneaking suspicion she’d always want to talk about work, do strenuous exercise, or play with Blue Ivy. None of those options sound appealing, as my interests lean more towards cocktailing, napping, and discussing my fear of children and dogs. Sadly, we’re just not a good fit. (This post will obviously be deleted if Bey ever says she wants to hang.)
Realistically, I’d probably be buds with John Krasinski (aka Jim from The Office) and drunk Jennifer Lawrence. John has a kid now, but I feel like he wouldn’t be annoyingly obsessed with it, and drunk Jennifer Lawrence reminds me of myself in college (and I was SO fun). Plus, I think John and I have a similar sense of humor, and I’m older than JLaw, so I could offer super helpful life advice. (Justification!) John, Jennifer and I would probably do our group hangs at the beach, drinking margaritas and playing practical jokes on people.
Annie isn’t around that much because she lives in San Francisco (UGH), so I’m usually forced to play Celebrity Friends with my roommate. At this point, I’ve introduced several variations such as, “Which actor/actress would play you in a movie?” and “If you were a musician, who would you be?” To be honest, playing with Logan isn’t that fun, since his answer to every question is “Justin Timberlake.” (FYI, “because he’s a badass” and/or “I was in a hot tub with him once” do not count as justifications.)
So, in order to mix things up, I recently introduced the “If you were a food, what would you be?” game to Logan, which was quite enlightening. We both took our sweet time coming up with a response (as always, justification for the food choice was mandatory), and eventually I decided that I’d be Grilled Watermelon with Jalapeños, Feta and Honey.
On my best days, I like to think this Grilled Watermelon situation is my spirit food. Overall, it’s pretty sweet, but it’s got salty undertones and some serious spice. While it looks fancy, it’s actually surprisingly low-maintenance, and it’s equally comfortable at both casual pool parties and classy summer soirées. Most importantly, Grilled Watermelon with Jalapeños, Feta and Honey is fabulously bright and festive, and it’s even more fun when there are margaritas involved. Just saying.
I’m guessing that 95% of you have never tried grilling watermelon (which I’m not judging, as I was in the very same boat until last week), but that needs to change immediately. Grilled watermelon is a warm weather revelation, and I’ve clearly been doing summer wrong for 27 years.
Brushing thick slices of melon with a little bit of olive oil, adding a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper, and then throwing them on a very hot grill for a couple minutes does wonders for this glorious summer staple. The melon takes on a subtle smoky flavor that actually intensifies its sweetness, elevating the fruit to EPIC levels of deliciousness in 4 minutes flat.
Honestly, it’s difficult to communicate the dankness, so please just make it and experience the magic for yourself. Cool? Cool.
I suggest serving this grilled watermelon as a show-stopping appetizer at your next dinner party, or as a simple side dish at late summer barbecues. However, it also makes a delightful light lunch (try it over a bed of baby arugula) or a creative cocktail hour snack.
Like I said before, it pairs well with margaritas.
In case you were wondering, Logan thinks that his food persona is lean brisket. You know, because it’s “a badass meat,” but it’s still “real lean and tight.” Oh, and “everyone loves lean brisket.” Including Justin Timberlake.
Grilled Watermelon with Jalapeños, Feta and Honey: (Serves 4)
2 1-inch rounds from a baby watermelon
½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
½ lime, juiced
1 very small jalapeno, thinly sliced into rounds (I like fiery things, but definitely seed your jalapeño if you’re not into super spicy.)
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
2 ounces crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
2 teaspoons honey
Preparing your Grilled Watermelon with Jalapeños, Feta and Honey:
-Slice 2 1-inch rounds from your watermelon, and cut each round into fourths.
-Brush both sides of the watermelon with olive oil and season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
-Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the watermelon and cook for about 2 minutes on each side until pretty grill marks appear. Remove from the pan and let cool slightly.
-Arrange the watermelon on a serving platter (or on individual plates) and drizzle with lime juice.
-Sprinkle the watermelon with the jalapeños and cilantro.
-And the cheese.
-Drizzle the whole shebang with honey and serve immediately.
- 2 1- inch rounds from a baby watermelon
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- ½ lime juiced
- 1 very small jalapeno thinly sliced into rounds (I like fiery things, but definitely seed your jalapeño if you’re not into super spicy.)
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 ounces crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
- 2 teaspoons honey
Slice 2 1-inch rounds from your watermelon, and cut each round into fourths. Brush both sides of the watermelon with olive oil and season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the watermelon and cook for about 2 minutes on each side until pretty grill marks appear. Remove from the pan and let cool slightly.
Arrange the watermelon on a serving platter (or on individual plates) and drizzle with lime juice. Sprinkle with the jalapeños, cilantro, and cheese. Drizzle the whole shebang with honey and serve immediately.
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