Recipe of the week
For your next picnic, try something new with watermelon, said Tejal Rao in The New York Times. Malika Ameen, a Pakistani-American cookbook author, makes flavor-packed savory fruit salads all summer, tossing melon, berries, or stone fruit with citrus juice, jalape.o, and a mix of spices including toasted cumin and amchur powder, made from dried green mangoes. The salad should sit before it’s served, but it comes together quickly.
2 lbs watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes • ¾ tsp whole cumin seeds • ¼ tsp sweet paprika • ¼ tsp finely ground black pepper • ¼ tsp amchur powder • pinch of cayenne pepper (generous if you like heat) • ¼ tsp fine sea salt • 1/3 cup juice from an orange, clementine, or mandarin • ½ tsp finely chopped jalape.o pepper • 3 to 4 fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
• Place cubed watermelon in a wide platter with sides or in a large baking or serving dish and spread into a single layer. In a small pan, toast whole cumin seeds on medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove and coarsely grind with a mortar and pestle. (You can also use a spice grinder, but be sure not to grind to a fine powder, as the coarse grains of the spice add wonderful texture.)
• Transfer cumin to a small bowl and add all remaining spices and salt. Add citrus juice, jalape.o, and mint and mix well. Pour dressing over cubed watermelon and mix to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate for 1 to 6 hours. Serve chilled the same day. Makes 4 to 6 servings. ■