Locally grown Okanagan fruits are simply one of the reasons I love visiting this part of British Columbia! In June, there is a harvest of fresh fruits; including different types of cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, lots different types of apples, pears, nectarines, grapes, and of course melons. Growing watermelons have become very popular and require dry, hot temperatures in order to ripen. You’ll know a watermelon is ripe when you tap it and hear a hollow sound. Another indication is when the tendril nearest to the fruit is dry. Watermelons should always be cut from the vine, not pulled, as they may tear.
There are two types of watermelons in the Okanagan. The first is the Diana watermelon which is a smaller melon with a darker-pink flesh. Because of its size, its grows quickly and only weighs about 2 lbs. The second most common watermelon is the Northern Sweet watermelon. It is a full-sized, grows in about 85 days, has a darker-green outer shell and a red-orange flesh.
Did you know watermelons are best served on the BBQ? This concept was hard for me to wrap my head around. Why would I put a big juicy wet watermelon on a hot flaming BBQ? Well the outcome is pretty delicious and brings a touch of fun to your summertime BBQ’ing. Check out the recipe below. We carry everything you need at Hofstedes Country Barn; including balsamic reductions.
- 1 watermelon into cut into 8 slices 1-inch thick
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 10 basil leaves,
- salt and pepper
Bring vinegar to a boil in a small pot and continue to boil until vinegar is reduced to 1/4 cup – about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.Preheat your grill to medium high heat.Cut your watermelon into 8 1-inch thick wedges with rind. Gently press the watermelon with paper towel to soak up some of the excess water. Cover one side of the watermelon wedges with olive oil before placing them oil-side down on the grill. Brush the top side with oil. Grill over high heat for about 3 minutes on each side, or until grill marks have formed. Remove from heat then drizzle on the balsamic reduction and remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and scatter torn basil leaves over top.