Sunday, June 21, 2009
Watermelon Rind and Prosciutto Salad
Watermelon rind, the white bit that is often thrown away after you cut off the juicy red bit, is a TCM medicinal and is delicious to boot. I've previously had very tasty watermelon rind salads with crispy pork belly, but since it's gotten hot and humid over here pork belly is seeming slightly less appealing in all it's hot fatty damp glory. I substituted pork belly with prosciutto, staying in the vein of pork but a leaner version. Watermelon rind treats 'summer heat' or 'heat stroke' - so next time it's really hot and you are sweating or some people may even break into a heat rash, watermelon rind is the answer. My husband eats the red juicy bit and I save all the rind in a ziploc bag for what I really want a watermelon for. It tastes more vegetable-like but still watermelon juicy with a tartness and bit of sweet. You can slice it up into thin slices or thicker inch squares, depends on your flavor buds. I then added some prosciutto shredded up by hand, thin sliced vidalia onion, dash of olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. If you were to make the pork belly version I'd do lime, a bit of chili pepper, red onion, fish sauce, skip the extra oil. Play with it. Sometimes a bit of the red is left on the white, don't panic, that's just a sweet bonus. I've seen people make salads with just the watermelon rind, which is probably all you would use if you were truly trying to calm a heat stroke situation down. I did find a website that is dedicated solely to only recipes with watermelon rind, very nice! I also stumbled across a Thai recipe blogger who added watermelon rind to the Thai dish Gang Som, I've never seen this wonderful rendition but I'll be sure to try it soon. Watermelon rind goes lovely with a spice kick! It's also good pickled, cooked, the list is surprisingly endless. Next time you buy a watermelon, don't waste the rind.