July 1, 2013 by Meg G.
Something is seriously wrong with this picture…
At 9:00am this morning, the humidity in Providence was 94%. Meanwhile, in my former swampy home of New Orleans, the humidity was a mere 46%. Whaaaat?!
This is not a day for the oven. This, my friends, is a day for cold beverages and easy dinners. How about some basil watermelon deliciousness alongside a stack of rolled up fresh veggies? Oh yeah!
“Aguas Frescas” or fresh waters are pretty much the drink of choice in hotter climates. You really can’t go wrong, since they involve combining fresh fruits, water, and sugar. In this version, I used watermelon and fresh basil, but left out the sugar. (If you’re into that sort of thing, I’d recommend agave, honey, or simple syrup to taste.)
Basil Watermelon Fresca
- 1/4 small-to-medium watermelon, diced
- juice of a 1/2 lime or more to taste
- 12-16 oz of fresh water or seltzer water
- 6-8 basil leaves, shredded or diced
- Combine watermelon, lime juice, and basil in a blender or food processor until puréed.
- Transfer watermelon purée into a serving pitcher and stir in water or seltzer. Adjust ratios to your liking and stir in some ice cubes.
This makes a thick, almost Slurpee-esque beverage. If you’re not into pulpy juices, you may want to pour this through a fine mesh strainer before adding the water. You’ll probably lose quite a bit of watermelon that way, but that’s okay. You’ll still get the flavor.
Speaking of flavor, the possibilities are endless! Is your mint taking over your garden? Try mint-cucumber. Love citrus? How about orange-lemon? Or try pineapple-sage, strawberry-thyme, or lime-cilantro. Go to town, folks! It’s summertime!
Lettuce wraps are really a no-brainer. You don’t need a recipe, but you may need an excuse (like high humidity or a case of the Mondays) to let yourself off the hook for dinner. We went with some veggie bacon (the frozen stuff for convenience this time), a nice ripe avocado, cheddar cheese, lettuce from our CSA, and some tomato and cucumber fresh from the farmer’s market. Stack it up, roll it up, and eat it up!
Presto! Dinner. Preferably al fresco. With an agua fresca. (See what I did there?)