Watermelon RecipesRecipes

Watermelon Two-Ways & Lamb Chorizo Bites

A great appetizer with fresh watermelon and pickled watermelon rind Greek yogurt, with lamb chorizo topped with micro greens and a mini crispy cheese wafer.
Recipes prepared for on behalf of The National Watermelon Promotion Board by Chef Dave Woolley, CD Culinary Approach

  • Pickled Watermelon Rind
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 2 cups peeled watermelon rind (leave a thin layer of pink), cut into 1 x ½ x 2 inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 all spice berry
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon pickling spice
  • 1 long slice of fresh ginerroot
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
  • Lamb Chorizo
  • 2 pounds lamb meat
  • 1/2 pound lamb fat (looking to achieve an 80-20% ratio of lean to fat)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon toasted ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • few leaves of fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 small Spanish onion, chopped and sautéed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped and sautéed with onion
  • 1/8 cup ice water
  • Greek Yogurt and Pickled Watermelon Rind
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup pickled watermelon rind, minced and free of excess moisture
  • 1 teaspoon mint, finely chopped
  • dash salt (to taste)
  • 1 watermelon

Pickled Watermelon Rind
In a large pot, bring water and salt to boil over medium high heat. Add rind pieces and boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Strain. Transfer rinds to a large metal bowl.

In saucepan, combine sugar, all spice berry, cider vinegar, peppercorns, cloves, pickling spice, gingerroot, and celery seeds. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 15 minutes, until slightly reduced. Pour over watermelon rinds in bowl. Place plate over top to keep rinds submerged in liquid. Cover and refrigerate for one day. Transfer to a glass jar and keep sealed in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. When ready, take and mince finely for the Greek yogurt.

Lamb Chorizo
Mix all ingredients except water. Grind ingredients through medium dye. Mix ingredients by hand, slowly adding water until tacky. Cool overnight. Cook on high heat to sear and add caramelization notes to the meat. Blend/mix while cooking, trying to achieve a fine ground beef appearance to the chorizo. Place on a cutting board and run a knife through it a few times to help achieve the look or through a buffalo chopper, quickly pulsing.

Greek Yogurt and Pickled Watermelon Rind
Blend all ingredients together. Let sit 30 minutes to blend before using.

Watermelon Cutting
Clean all the rind then cut lengthwise into quarters of a small seedless watermelon. Slice off ¼ inch thick triangles of watermelon trying to ensure they are all around the same size, appropriate for appetizers. The triangles should be no longer than 2 inches at the bottom.

Assembly for 10 Bites
10 each watermelon triangles
10 teaspoons of lamb chorizo, warm and chopped fine
1 tablespoon micro greens
10 each cheese crisps (for example: Sugar Foods)
5 teaspoons pickled watermelon rind yogurt

Line up the watermelon triangles, then place ½ teaspoon of pickled watermelon rind yogurt in the middle of triangle. Add warm lamb chorizo to the top of the yogurt then “fin” in the cheese crisp in the middle and into the watermelon to hold it straight. Add a few strands of micro greens and serve immediately.


Servings will vary.

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