We’re celebrating a wonderful summer evening with these perfectly light and refreshing fruit salad appetizers. Our pre-dinner snack was made with hollowed out watermelon cups providing the edible vessels for our sweet and savory fruit salad made with diced fresh yellow peaches, watermelon, jicama, Maui onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and jalapeno. The salad cups were topped with a dollop of tangy and slightly spicy cilantro, lime, & feta cream fraiche.
Cool juicy and deliciousT: This was a seriously fun summertime treat. I should say, is a seriously fun summertime treat since there are more over on the table that I plan to eat right now…
A: hell yeah! they really are super summertime-y. and my god. i have been consuming those peaches i got from the farmers market like they were going out of style. i love summer fruits!
T: yeah, me too. What really gets me going are the blackberries. It’s awesome that we can pretty much buy and eat as many as we want without going broke. Fruit kicks ass. Normally I’m not a huge fan of fruit salady type dishes because the purity of the fruit is tainted by whatever dressing is added… but these little watermelon bowls o fruit did not suffer from that at all. The creamy dressing on top was really really tasty.
A: i was hoping it would work. it’s a tangy cilantro, lime, sour cream, jalapeno, and feta mixture. i didn’t really want enough of the “sauce” to coat the fruit. just enough so you get a hint with each bite.
T: well it was really more than a hint, but that was a good thing I thought. The jalapeno was kickin’ as well. I could have probably gone for a little more jalapeno in them… but that’s just my obsession with pain.
Papa watermelon cupA: heheh and your obsession with tasty spicy things, you’re not supposed to share the thing about your obsession with pain…. freak.
T: my therapist says I should share everything.
A: on our blog? with the whole world?
T: fortunately I don’t have to face anybody that reads this thing… it feels anonymous.
A: until your coworkers bring it up tomorrow… er… monday!
T: they have to know I’m obsessed with pain… how else could I work with them… snap!
A: oh. my. god. i just know you did NOT just type “snap”! that is sooooooooo wrong!
(t snaps several times, erratically)
A: alright snappy, let’s get back to the fruit at hand! do you have a rating for this little sweet and savory box of goodness?
T: I give these watermelon bowls a 4.73/5. They were really fun to eat… can’t say I’ve ever had fruit salad in a watermelon bowl… can’t say that I’ve ever had anything in a watermelon bowl. On top of that the fruit itself was delish and the creamy sauce was awesome and went really well with the fruit. What’s your rating?
A: i think i’m gonna have to go with a 4.4444/5. these little dealies make a great summertime first course. I thought the jicama added a nice crunch and the small amount of garlic, onions, jalapeno, and cilantro really worked well to bring out the savory sides to the perfectly ripe fruit. it was well balanced and fun to eat. my only problem at all was with my inability to create perfectly straight edges and thus nice boxes. in the end i had to settle for almost straight edges.
T: The straightness of the edges didn’t cross my mind once… actually, I thought they looked pretty neat.
A: why thank ya t! i tried… hard.
T: You did very well… every time I try hard at something I totally f it up.
A: i had that fear when i first started trying to shape the boxes. i just envisioned the barbie i tried to give a hair cut to when i was like 5 years old… eventually she ended up with a boy cut because i just couldn’t get the lines straight!
T: Nice to know! Amanda, how could you continuously offer to cut my hair with a history like that?
1 mini seedless watermelon, 3-5 lbs
2/3 cup jicama, small dice
4 ripe yellow peaches, small dice
1/3 cup sweet or red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp fresh lime juice (depending on how tangy you want it)
1/2 fresh jalapeno, small dice (seeds and membrane removed if you don't like spicy stuff)
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped plus several small whole leaves to garnish
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the Cream Sauce:
1/2 cup cream fraiche or sour cream
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 tbsp minced fresh jalapeno
1/8 cup feta, finely crumbled
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Make the watermelon cubes: Cut the ends off of the watermelon. Remove the rind from the melon by standing the watermelon up on one of the flat cut ends, then running a knife down the length of the melon just deep enough to cut off all of the green/white rind part. Continue cutting the rind off the melon until all you are left with is the meat of the fruit. From this point, trim the edges to create a large, straight-edged rectangle. Dice 2/3 cup of watermelon in to cm or smaller uniform cubes using the excess pieces from trimming the rectangle. Set the diced aside in a mixing bowl, reserved for the salad. From the large rectangle cut out either all 2-3 inch cubes or varying sizes of rectangles and cubes to use for your watermelon cups. Once you have achieved this, using a paring knife and a melon baller or small spoon cut/scoop out the middle of each rectangle leaving about 1 cm wall of melon on the edges and the bottom. Repeat this process until all the watermelon cups have been hollowed out. Place all of the watermelon cups on a plate/tray, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to be filled.
Make the salad: In the mixing bowl with the reserved diced watermelon, add the diced jicama, peaches, sweet onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice. Toss gently to combine and thoroughly coat all of the ingredients with the lime juice to prevent them from oxidizing and turning brown. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Set aside.
Make the cream sauce: To a bowl add the cream fraiche, chopped cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno, and feta. Stir to combine thoroughly. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Assemble the hors d'oeuvre: Liberally fill each of the watermelon cups with the fruit salad. Garnish with a little dollop of cream sauce and a small cilantro leaf. Serve and enjoy!