Summer in Greece means watermelon season is in full swing, and the sweet fruits abound. While delicious on their own, the refreshing fruit is the basis of a number of refreshing watermelon recipes that could take you right back to Greece.
Watermelon is a quintessential Greek dish as it is served – usually for free – at the end of a summer dinner in tavernas across the country. The sweet but light fruit is usually all you can eat for dessert after a hearty Greek meal.
Since Greece now ranks sixth in the entire global watermelon export market, you will never run out of ingredients for your summer recipes while you’re in the country!
Greece now produces a staggering 204.46 million kilograms (450,757,141 pounds) of watermelons, which is equivalent to 5.6 percent of the world’s total exports of the juicy fruit.
Greek watermelon cake from the island of Milos
This unique watermelon recipe is for karpouzopitaor watermelon cake, a traditional sweet from the Greek island of Milos.
Whether you’re your . eat karpouzopita plain or topped with a little Greek style yogurt or honey, either way you’re sure to enjoy it!
This dessert is quite low in fat and can use either white or brown sugar depending on how sweet you want it to taste.
¼ – ½ cup sesame seeds
2 pounds watermelon diced (about the size of walnuts)
½ cup honey + 2 tablespoons for drizzling
2 tablespoons brown sugar or white (adjust accordingly)
¾ cup flour
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
2. Remove the seeds from the watermelon. Cut into walnut-sized cubes. Place in a colander and let it rest for about an hour. Squeeze a little more with your hands to remove extra liquid.
3. Place the watermelon in a large bowl. Add brown sugar (or white), flour, cinnamon, ½ cup honey and olive oil and mix well with a large spoon while trying not to break the watermelon pieces. The batter will contain some liquid.
4. Grease a cake tin with some olive oil (to cover only) and sprinkle the bottom with sesame seeds (enough to get a crust-like formation). Pour the watermelon mixture over it and spread it evenly. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and bake in the oven for about an hour.
5. Remove, drizzle the rest of the honey over the cake and let it cool. Serve it at room temperature, or let it cool in the fridge and top it off with some Greek yogurt or honey!
Greek Watermelon Mojito – an essential watermelon recipe for hot Greek summers
Spice up your Greek hot summer evenings, or if you can’t go to Greece this summer, at least you can enjoy the vibrant colors and distinct flavors of a Greek summer with this drink.
1 ounce of rum
4 pcs fresh Greek watermelon (or 1 oz. fresh watermelon puree)
1 ounce fresh lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
3/4 ounce sparkling water
6 mint leaves and a mint sprig
1. In a tall mixing glass, combine watermelon and mint leaves with simple syrup. Add rum and lime juice, fill with ice and shake vigorously.
2. Strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass. Top with sparkling water and stir gently. Garnish with mint sprig. Enjoying!
Watermelon Feta Salad
A twist on the traditional horiatikor Greek salad, this refreshing watermelon and feta recipe has become popular in Greece and Cyprus.
While the combination of watermelon and feta cheese may seem a little odd, the sweet and salty elements work together perfectly, creating the ultimate summer dish!
For the salad:
1kg watermelon, pitted and cut into chunks (35oz.)
250 g feta cheese, diced or crumbled (9 oz.)
a bunch of mint, leaves only, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled and diced
For the dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1. Start by removing the skin and seeds from the watermelon and cut the watermelon into triangular pieces.
2. Cut the feta cheese into small cubes and place both in a large bowl.
3. Thinly slice the onions and add them to the rest of the ingredients. Then add the chopped mint leaves and set aside. Also add the sliced cucumber to the mixture.
4. Prepare the dressing in a small bowl; add the olive oil, lemon juice and brown sugar and season to taste. Whisk the ingredients to combine, taste and adjust the seasoning.
5. Pour the dressing over the watermelon feta salad and toss to combine.