Blog Flog: Watermelon Mojitos + Patio Nibbles

Watermelon mojitos

Those little watermelons you see everywhere in grocery stores this time of year? Turns out they make the perfect vehicle for fancy patio drinks for one. I watched Alton Brown juice a whole watermelon with a hand-held immersion blender, and the next time I saw a stack of mini watermelons I envisioned a coconut or pineapple-style cocktail, only it’s far easier to access the innards of a watermelon, and being 94% water, it blitzes up into juice in a few minutes.

So we gave it a try at Camp Hoo-ha this weekend, and it worked beautifully – we made watermelon-mint mojitos with rum and fresh mint, although you could do margaritas or really any other cocktail you can dream up. I made them again in a segment on BT Calgary on Monday, along with a snacky kind of patio nibble made up of cubed watermelon, olives and feta in a smear of garlicky yogurt.

Watermelon patio nibbles

Everyone loves watermelon-feta salad, and this is kind of a finger food version of it; olives have the same salty brininess as feta, and the creamy garlicky yogurt spread over the platter holds everything in place while acting like a kind of dip. It’s more interesting than a plate of crudités, but just as munchy, and I love the sweet crunch and juiciness of watermelon cubes – it just works so much better than other fruits in this kind of situation.

Watermelon mojito

But the cocktails! Truly – so fun. Cut a hole in the top of a watermelon (I haven’t needed to bother slicing a bit off the bottom to help it not wobble, but you could) and blend the inside with an immersion blender, kind of pushing the flesh down a bit as you go. So easy. I puréed it before adding a small handful of fresh mint and some rum, and blitzing it again just a few times, enough to muddle the mint. You could strain the watermelon juice first and pour it back in, but I like of like it slushy. And stick them in the fridge before you purée for a cold cocktail.

As for the watermelon, feta and olives, you don’t really need a recipe, but here’s a rough guideline. And if you want to discover more uses for all that watermelon, visit the Watermelon Board, who I partnered with for Monday’s segment.

Watermelon patio nibbles
Watermelon patio nibbles

Watermelon, Feta & Olives

  

June 20, 2018

Ingredients

plain yogurt

1 garlic clove, finely crushed

salt

cubed watermelon

olives

chunks of feta

cherry or grape tomatoes

freshly ground black pepper

olive oil

fresh mint or basil (optional)

Directions

1In a small bowl, stir together the plain yogurt (about 1/2 cup for an average-sized serving) with the garlic and a pinch of salt. If you use more yogurt, a clove of garlic will still be enough, particularly if you have time to refrigerate it for a few hours or overnight, to allow the flavours to blend and intensify.

2Smear the garlicky yogurt onto a platter. Arrange the cubed watermelon, olives, feta and tomatoes however you like, keeping them in a single layer so they’re easy to eat with a skewer or your fingers. Add a grinding of black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil if you like. Scatter or garnish with whole or torn fresh mint or basil. Serve immediately.

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2 comments on “Blog Flog: Watermelon Mojitos + Patio Nibbles

  1. carol s-b
    June 22, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    oh, such fresh ideas!
    Will the camp run next year? I’d love to go!
    For stabilizing the watermelon drink, try this: the ring part of a two-part jar lid (set upside down). Sized according to your melons. Ahem.
    Next weekend for Canada day! All I need are the little paper umbrellas.
    Thanks, Julie.

    • Julie
      July 1, 2018 at 2:59 pm

      OOOH, brilliant! I’m going to do this next time! and I’m not sure – I imagine it will likely be in the same place!

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