Yes, watermelon wedges are delicious, but you can take the summery fruit to another level with these unique recipes.
We’ve got some juicy news for you: There’s more than one way to slice a watermelon.
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While a platter of wedges is still a crowd-pleasing way to wrap up any summer picnic or barbecue, this tasty pink-and-green fruit can also play a starring role in cocktails, main dishes, salads and even homemade gummy candy. (Yes, we said candy, and it’s as awesome as it sounds.)
Check out these six tempting recipes from the food blogiverse, then get started planning a watermelon-themed menu for your next party. As the old camp song goes, “There’s nothing quite as fine as a watermelon vine.”
A Vibrant Cocktail
To keep this cocktail from being overly cloying, Barbara Kiebel of Creative Culinary adds lime and orange liqueur (or, if she has it on hand, her homemade limoncello). Then she rims the glass with a fifty-fifty mixture of sugar crystals and kosher salt, which helps balance the intense watermelon flavor. Kiebel writes that she was lucky enough to get a watermelon that was so perfectly ripe that any additional sweetener “would have been overkill.” If you prefer to add sugar, she suggests adding simple syrup to taste.
Get the Recipe: Fresh Watermelon Martini
Caprese Salad With a Twist
Photo: Rachael Bryant
“The absence of tomatoes takes out all the acidity, which makes the fresh lemon zest sing all the more brightly,” writes Rachael Bryant of Meatified about her tomato-free caprese salad. (Bryant is so well-versed in watermelon that you’ll also find her homemade gummy candy recipe later in this slideshow.) To make it more of a robust evening meal, Bryant often adds a sliced Italian meat such as salami.
Get the Recipe: Watermelon Caprese Salad
A Refreshing Side Dish
Photo: Kiersten Frase
If you feel, as we do, that the watermelon-feta salad has had its moment, you’ll love this side dish from Kiersten Frase of Oh My Veggies. It has that same sweet-meets-salty spirit, but Frase, who admits she’s not a feta fan, uses Kalamata olives to balance the watermelon flavor. A garnish of fresh basil adds just the right amount of brightness.
Get the Recipe: Watermelon with Kalamata Olives and Basil
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE Great Ideas.