I can remember when my brothers and I were younger and lived with our mom in Ocala, Florida. We used to ride the school bus home down this sand road as we lived on the outskirts of the city. The bus would drop us off at the corner stop which was still a good 20 minute walk to get home. In the hot Ocala summer heat 20 minutes was pretty intense and you needed something to cool you off. There was a watermelon patch we discovered on our way home one day. I remember we would jump the fence and pick out the biggest watermelon we could find. Then we would sit on the side of the road, break it open, and just eat that watermelon without a worry on our mind. At the time we didn't even care if we got caught. Guilty as charged.
After a brief stint living in Ocala we moved back to Sevierville, TN. We were a family that loved to move every couple of years. It was there that I discovered the magic of watermelon with a touch of salt sprinkled on it. One of my best friends growing up, Terry Owens, introduced me to it. His grandparents, Edna & Otis, would make it for us and we would just sit on the front porch spitting our watermelon seeds into the grass hoping they would grow into watermelon patch one day. Such a great memory. It was the perfect remedy to beat the Summer heat.
We have about a month left in Summer, and now watermelons are in their peak season. Here's a recipe that's absolutely delicious that I want to share, influenced by my childhood memories. - Chef Frohne
Watermelon Corn Salsa
Yields 5 cups
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cups fresh shucked corn
- 1 cup red onion, large diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and small diced
- 3 cups seedless watermelon, medium diced
- Juice of 2 limes
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- Pinch of Salt
Add oil to a cast iron pan over hight heat. Allow pan to heat for 2 minutes and add the corn, red onion, and jalapeno. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add mixture to a mixing bowl. Add 2 cups of the watermelon, lime juice, red wine vinegar, cilantro, cumin, chipotle powder, and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
Add the remaining 1 cup of watermelon to a blender and puree. Add this puree to the mixing bowl. Toss all ingredients well and add more salt as needed.