With watermelon season coming to a close, it seems only fitting to put some melon on the grill for one last hurrah on Labor Day. Grilling watermelon adds a smokey note to the fruit and gives it a slightly meaty texture that matches well with shrimp. This also gives you an opportunity to utilize any fresh herbs you’ve grown this summer. Cooking this dish only takes a couple of minutes, which makes it the perfect appetizer. Before you get started, you’ll need twelve 12-inch metal skewers or eighteen 8-inch skewers. If you use bamboo, be sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes prior to using them, which will keep them from igniting on the grill.
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (for marinade), plus 1 ½ Tbsp (for brushing)
- Zest of 1 lime
- 3 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint (marinade), plus ¼ cup torn mint leaves (garnish)
- ½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
- ¼ to ½ tsp. red chile flakes
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 1 lb. jumbo peeled and deveined shrimp (21-26 per pound), thawed if frozen
- ½ small seedless watermelon (about 2 lbs.), cut into 1″ cubes
Step 1: In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup oil, the lime zest and juice, chopped mint, thyme, chile flakes, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour half into a small bowl and set aside to use as a drizzle later.
Step 2: Add shrimp to remaining marinade mixture in medium bowl and chill, covered, about 1 hour.
Step 3: Heat grill to very high (550º to 650º).
Step 4: Thread watermelon cubes onto half of the skewers so that pieces lie flat. Brush both sides with remaining 1 ½ Tbsp oil. Thread shrimp onto the remaining skewers, piercing each through its top and bottom to form a C (so shrimp lies flat).
Step 5: Grill watermelon on one side only until grill marks appear (about 1 minute). Transfer to a platter. Grill shrimp, turning once, just until pink (1.5 to 2 minutes total). Transfer to the platter.
Step 6: Drizzle plated skewers with reserved marinade and sprinkle with the torn mint.
Recipe/photo courtesy Time Inc. (photo: Iain Bagwell)