Treat watermelon more like elote and summer is gonna be great.

By Margaret Eby
June 17, 2019
Aaron Kirk; Food Styling: Marianne Williams; Prop Styling: Christina Daley

You don't need me to remind you how a grill is good for more than just steaks, but as someone with extremely limited access to outdoor grilling, I'm going to do it anyway. This time of year, when people around the country are firing up the backyard grill, I am always full of grill envy. I use a girll pan, for sure, and I make plenty of grill-free summertime foods. But in the back of my head, I'm storing up a list of recipes to try when I get precious grill access, maybe on a trip out of town or at a vacation house. And you can bet that this year, the first time I get my hands on a grill, I'm going to grill some watermelon

Watermelon might not be your first choice for grilling. I mean, it's perfectly delicious all by itself. But like peaches or pineapple, the char of the grill seems to coax out an extra amount of sweetness from the fruit. In this version, the watermelon is coated in honey, lime, and tajin, a citrus chile seasoning that goes so well with summer fruits that I started carrying around a shaker of it in my bag last year. After you grill it, then you sprinkle chopped cilantro and cotija cheese all over it. 

If this reminds you of elote, that delicious Mexican corn, it should. The elements are much the same, minus a drizzle of crema—which honestly, wouldn't go awry here either. It makes watermelon into a whole new element of your summer salads, something that's juicy and refreshing but also a little spicy. For me, the one without a grill, I'm begging you: Go grill some watermelon. 

Get the recipe for Spicy Grilled Watermelon. 

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