Watermelon Fruit Salad Basket
Source: Shanta Nimbark Sacharoff, Cooking Together
Remember when your mom or grandma said, “Don’t play with your food, just eat it”? Well, in this recipe, you will learn how to have fun playing with your food, then eat it, too! I will show you how to make a watermelon basket, then how to use it to serve up a fruit salad.
This is a fun-filled food activity for the whole family, kids included. Depending on their age, kids will need an adult’s supervision and help because you will we use a sharp knife to carve the melon. (Watch the video below for more details.)
Few seasonal fruits such as plums, nectarines, and peaches (about 6 to 8 fruits)
A handful of strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries
A lime or a lemon
A small watermelon
A wide bladed sharp knife
A small knife
A couple of large spoons
A cutting board
A non-toxic marker (you can find this in a toddler section of any art supply store)
Select a melon that feels firm and fresh. Buy some colorful fruits and berries to make the fruit salad. Add a lime or a lemon to squeeze on top. This keeps the fruits fresh. Keep the fruits in refrigerator until you are ready to make the fruits salad basket.
Cut all fruits—except for the melon—into bite-size pieces and place them in a mixing bowl. Squeeze the lemon or lime juice on top and set the salad aside.
Next, place the watermelon onto the cutting board where it can sit comfortably. Cut off a sliver from the bottom of the melon to make it more stable.
Then, using a non-toxic marker, draw some lines to guide you where you will carve the melon. Starting from the top center, draw two parallel lines, about 1½ inches away from each other, to reach half way across the melon. These lines show where the handle of the basket will be. Next, draw a line around the circumference of the melon, starting from bottom of the handle line and going to the other end of the same line. (Be careful not to cut into the handle). These lines will guide you to insert the knife to carve the melon to remove the first wedges out.
Next, using a sharp knife, dig into the melon, following these lines to loosen the flesh of the melon. Then, remove the big wedge of the melon that should come out easily. Set the wedge on the cutting board. Repeat the same action on the other side of the handle shape and take out the second wedge. Set it on the board. Now, you can see the handle of the basket. Remove the skin off from both wedges and cut them into bite-size pieces.
Then, scoop out some flesh from under the handle, being careful not to break the handle or the wall of the melon. Place the chunks on the cutting board along with the other hunks. Cut the melon chunks into smaller, bite size pieces and add to the mixing bowl of fruit salad.
Now, fill up the melon basket with as much mix fruits as you can. Rest of the mix fruits can be refrigerated for the second rounds of filling the basket. Now, you can take this pretty baske to a picnic or place it on your dinner table. But wait, DO NOT carry the basket with its handle. The handle is not strong enough to be carry the fruit salad. Place the basket onto a platter or a bowl to carry it to its destination. Refrigerate the melon basket and mixed fruits until ready to serve.
Photo by Eber Bravo.
Shanta is a Sunset District resident and the author of Cooking Together and Flavors of India, both available at Other Avenues Food Co-op., Green Apple Book Store, Rainbow Grocery Co-op, and local bookstores. Shanta writes recipes and articles on food and teaches cooking classes. Shanta also shares her recipes via videos on YouTube.