by Lisa Lozano
If you don’t want your watermelon to fade away into July 4th oblivion, check out these nine amazing watermelon presentations from Rach and our resident watermelon-carving guru and senior culinary producer, Jeanette Donnarumma.
No. 1: Watermelon Frog
This adorable frog will be the hit of your July 4th party! Start with a small, round watermelon, and make two half-moon slices in the top half, so that you end up with one quarter of the melon removed at a 90 degree angle to make the frog’s mouth. Ball out the insides and reserve. Then, using your discarded rind from the first cut, make two little froggy “feet” that you’ll set next to the frog on the serving board. Then, cut a tongue and eyeballs out of the remaining rind. Put the tongue in the “mouth” at an angle, then use toothpicks to make “eyes” out rind and blueberries. Then fill with fruit salad. Watch the video above for a step-by-step instructions and demonstration.
Tip: If kids won’t be joining in your party, you can soak your fruit in tequila for an extra kick!
No. 2: Watermelon Pizza
To make this fun fake-out, Jeannette takes a round slice of watermelon, including the rind, and grills it. Then, she tops it with delicious toppings. See below for two different ways to prepare.
To make a Mexican-style “pizza,” just top with queso fresco, cilantro, pickled red onions, toasted pepitas, salt and a Mexican crema (or sour cream) drizzle. Then, slice and serve!
Top with ribbons of prosciutto, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, arugula, salt and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Delish!
Start with a small, round watermelon and cut off the top quarter. Scoop out the insides of the melon with a melon baller, including the meat that is still left in the small quarter section. Use kebab skewers to make “grates,” and fill the inside with blackberries, which will be the “charcoal.” Use carrots to make the “legs” and attach the “lid” to the back with skewers. Watch the video for specific instructions.
This fun watermelon “shark” looks complicated to make, but Jeanette makes it easy. Just cut the watermelon at an angle to give it that “shark jumping out of the water” tilt, then remove the “mouth” of the shark and use a melon baller to remove most of the meat, leaving some so that you can refill with a fruit salad. Score above and below the shark’s mouth, then carve “teeth.” Punch out holes for the eyes, and attach peeled grapes with toothpicks. Finally, use a piece of the discarded “mouth” to make a fin, which you can attach with toothpicks. Fill with fruit salad. Adorable! Watch the video for specific instructions.
This technique uses watermelon as the base of a “cake.” First, cut thin slices off the ends of the watermelon so that you get a stable base. Then, turn it upright and slice all the green off in a straight line so that you end up with a tall cylinder-shaped “cake” base. Wrap your “cake” with a paper towel and refrigerate overnight, so it dries enough that you can frost it. The next day, frost with some sweet whipped cream, and then apply sliced almonds to the sides, and festive red and blue fruit to the top! Watch the two videos above for more.
This one is for the adults! You just hollow out a watermelon and puree the meat, then strains out the solids. Muddle mint in a bowl with some simple syrup or agave nectar, then add fresh-squeezed lime juice and rum. Then mix with the watermelon puree in the watermelon "punch bowl." Yum!
No. 7: Watermelon T-Rex
Before you travel back in time, make sure you also have pineapple skin and orange peels on hand for the ears and eyeballs! GET THE HOW-TO HERE.
No. 8: Watermelon Cat
Jeanette's favorite animal is a cat, so we KNEW she'd nail this one! GET THE HOW-TO HERE.
No. 9: Watermelon Owl
This one is SO good, it might just be our favorite. GET THE HOW-TO HERE.