Food & Drink

Fresh ways to use watermelon in Cinco de Mayo fiestas

Watermelon makes a festive addition to your Cinco de Mayo recipes.
Watermelon makes a festive addition to your Cinco de Mayo recipes. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cinco de Mayo, which falls on Tuesday, is the perfect opportunity to indulge in Mexican-inspired dishes, dips and drinks. This year, put a tangy twist on your festive favorites with a refreshing new flavor.

Watermelon is a versatile fruit with a flavor profile that pairs perfectly with many of the ingredients in traditional Mexican dishes. Sweet and juicy watermelon is a great way to cut the heat of spicier foods, and its texture lends an unexpected, satisfying crunch in dips such as chunky salsas.

Plus, it’s 92 percent water, which makes it a good option for hydrating your body on a warm summer day; no wonder it’s the most-consumed melon in the United States (followed by cantaloupe and honeydew).

Whether you’re hosting a Cinco de Mayo themed party or simply looking forward to an inspired meal at home, get an early jump on summer and let watermelon be your star ingredient. (Note: Nutritional analysis is unavailable.)

Baja fish tacos with watermelon guacamole

Servings: 12-16 tacos

  • 2 medium avocados, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons diced jalapeño pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles, drained
  • 2 1/2 cups diced watermelon, divided
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds cod
  • Chili powder
  • 12-16 corn tortillas
  • 3-4 cups commercial coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
  • 1/2-1 cup commercial salsa

1. For guacamole, mash avocados to mix of smooth and chunky in medium bowl. Add lime, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic and chiles and mix thoroughly. Add 1 1/2 cups diced watermelon and salt (if desired) and toss. Cover and refrigerate to let flavors blend.

2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

3. Place cod on sheet and sprinkle with chili powder and salt. Bake for 12-20 minutes (depending on thickness of fish) or until cooked through. Remove from oven and cut into pieces.

4. Heat tortillas on grill or griddle. Top each with a few pieces of fish, 1/4 cup coleslaw mix, a heaping spoonful of guacamole, a tablespoon of salsa and a few pieces of remaining diced watermelon.

Source: www.watermelon.org

Watermelon margarita

Servings: 1

  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila
  • 3/4 ounce triple sec
  • 3/4 ounce Midori
  • 2 ounces sour mix
  • 6 ounces cubed, seeded watermelon
  • 8 ounces ice

Blend all ingredients. Serve in 14-ounce glass. Garnish with lime and watermelon wedge.

Source: www.watermelon.org

Watermelon cilantro salsa tropical

Servings: 8-12

  • 2 cups chopped seedless watermelon
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mango
  • 4 limes (juice only)
  • 1 cup trimmed and chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Toss all ingredients in mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper just before serving.

Source: www.watermelon.org

Southwest salsa bowl

Makes 1 bowl

  • 1 round, seedless watermelon
  • Dry erase marker
  • Utility knife or carving knife
  • Ice cream scoop or other large spoon
  • Fire and ice salsa (recipe follows)
  • Chips, jalapeños, cilantro and lime, for garnish

1. Choose round seedless watermelon.

2. Wash watermelon and pat dry.

3. Use dry erase marker to trace design around middle of watermelon.

4. Use utility knife to carve design (copy design in photo).

5. Split watermelon in half, and use scoop to carve out flesh.

6. Choose flat area of rind on other watermelon half to trace and carve out lizard design (copy from image in photo).

7. Fill bowl with salsa.

8. Garnish with lizard cutout, chips, jalapeños, cilantro and lime.

Fire and ice salsa

Servings: 3 cups

  • 3 cups seeded and chopped watermelon
  • 1/2 cup green peppers
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon green onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons jalapeño peppers

Combine ingredients; mix well and cover. Refrigerate 1 hour or more.

Source: www.watermelon.org

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