Fresh, Tasty, and a Bargain!
This week, Eat Smart Idaho will be sharing 3 of our fave recipes for Idaho Summer produce, beets, sweet corn, and watermelon. We'll also take the guesswork out of picking a great watermelon!
How to Choose a Good Watermelon
Idaho is known for exceptionally sweet and tasty watermelons. They are available from July through early October. Find a local farm to pick your own or get a bargain at the store.
- Find the Field Spot– This yellow/gold spot on the bottom means the melon basked in the sun on the farm and was ripe when picked. Watermelons only ripen while on the vine. A dark, shiny green melon with no gold “field spot” may mean a melon is under-ripe.
- Pick Up the Melon– A ripe watermelon will feel very heavy for its size and the rind should be firm with no soft spots.
- Smell the Melon– A ripe watermelon will have a mild smell, even through the rind!
- When in doubt, ask a professional. Talk to the local farmer or produce manager. They will be happy to help you pick a ripe watermelon.
Shelby’s Watermelon Granita (Like a Slushy)
- 5 cups watermelon cut into chunks, seeds removed (about half of a small watermelon)
- Put watermelon in a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Strain into an 8″x 8″ glass baking dish and place in freezer. (Don’t use a nonstick dish as you may ruin the non-stick finish when you scrape the granita.)
- Every 30 minutes or so for about 3 to 4 hours, scrape the mixture with a fork, making sure to get the solid bits around the edges.
- The granita is ready when it is frozen, but still grainy.
*Recipe and photo used by permission of the author and photographer, Shelby Kinnaird (The Diabetic Foodie). Visit her website at http://www.diabeticfoodie.com
Idaho Beets- Delicious and a Bargain in Summer!
Carrot and Beet Salad
Ingredients Serves: 8 servings
- 1/4 cup onion, minced (1/2 small onion or 1 tablespoon onion powder)
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (or 2 teaspoons dried, ground, ginger)
- 2 cloves fresh garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 lime, zest and juice (You can also use other citrus like orange or lemon)
- 1/4 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
- 4 cups finely shredded carrots
- 4 cups finely shredded peeled raw beets (about ¾ pound)
- Optional: 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or other nut (Nuts are especially tasty if toasted in the oven.)
- Grate the beets into a large bowl. (Beets can get messy so, grate them near a sink.
- Grate the carrots and add to the beets.
- In a small bowl, combine onion, ginger, garlic powder, and lime juice and oil. Whisk and add to grated beets and carrots.
Grilled Sweet Corn
- 6 Ears Fresh Idaho Sweet Corn
- 3 Tablespoons Butter, melted
- Black Pepper
- Preheat grill until coals are glowing, or 350-400°F on a gas grill).
- Peel back corn husks (but do not remove).
- Remove silk from each ear (leave the husk intact).
- Brush each ear of corn with butter. If you don’t have a kitchen brush, use a paper towel or clean hands.
- Sprinkle each ear with black pepper.
- Keeping the husks peeled back, place each ear of corn directly on the grill.
- Cook for 10-12 minutes, rotating until each ear of corn is evenly cooked. (When grill marks begin to appear, and kernels darken in color rotate the corn (about every 2-3 minutes).
- Remove from heat and serve.
- *Tip: Fresh corn husks are a little moist and do not need soaking. However, if your corn husks are dry, soak the corn for 15 minutes before beginning this recipe.