Grill Your Watermelon Wedges For The Ultimate Salty-Sweet Summer Treat

Don’t sweat it — it can take the heat. (And it makes a beautiful balsamic salad, too.)

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grilled watermelon slices

Hot, cool, sweet and salty.
Photo, Kristin Eppich.

Arriving at home with a whole watermelon is a treat — and a commitment. I hate wasting food, and who’s kidding who, there are only so many days that slices of watermelon stay crisp and appealing. So now when I purchase a whole watermelon, I do it with a plan. After tossing it into salads and blending it into cold soups and gelatos, I apply some heat. It’s time to grill.

How to grill watermelon

The method for grilling watermelon is simple: use oil and seasoning, adding whatever flavours you choose to accompany it. I make grilled watermelon with fresh basil, balsamic and cracked black pepper – and it’s awesome! Because watermelon has such a high water content, it works best to let the slices sit on a few layers of paper towel to absorb the surface water, which will let the oil adhere better. Also, leave the rind on while you grill to make it easier to flip.

Grilled-watermelon with basil, olive oil and vinegar

Balsamic and basil go great with watermelon.
Photo, Kristen Eppich

Recipe: grilled watermelon with basil, balsamic and cracked black pepper

Prep 5 min
Total 15 min
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 quarter of a large watermelon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 10 to 12 large basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

Instructions

  • BRING vinegar to a boil in a small pot. Continue to boil until vinegar is reduced to 1/4 cup, 10 to 12 min. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • PREHEAT BBQ to medium high
  • SLICE watermelon into 8 1-inch thick triangles, leaving the rind on. Rest slices on a double layer of paper towel. Lay a double layer of paper towel on top. Let sit for 2 min to absorb the surface liquid. Remove paper towel and brush top and side of the slices with 1 tbsp oil
  • PLACE watermelon oil-side down on grill. Brush the top sides with 1 tbsp oil. Grill for 2 to 3 min, covered, or until dark grill lines appear. Flip and repeat. Remove to a cutting board
  • TRIM rind off grilled watermelon and discard. Cut into 1/2-in. chunks and place on a platter. Scatter torn basil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp balsamic reduction

Originally published August 18th, 2014.

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