Make Ahead

Frozen Basil, Mint, Lime and Chili Watermelon

June  3, 2013
3 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

I love the idea of dessert. I love to read recipes, to salivate at them on menus and to plan them for dinner parties. But beyond a bite or small serving, I tend to lose interest. I often make cakes, cookies and other desserts that I give away after eating my first piece. My husband and daughter are baffled by this (as am I) but it just is what it is. This has not been true, however, of these small frozen watermelon bites I made which I keep reaching in the freezer for. They are at once cold and refreshing, releasing a puddle of juice as you chew. As the mixture warms slightly in your mouth you taste the hints of the basil, mint and lime, or the brief, tantalizing spice of the chili. It is easy and refreshing and a dessert I might just finish. —savorthis

What You'll Need
  • 1 "personal" watermelon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 1/4 cup mint
  • 1 lime, zested, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili of choice (aleppo, urfa, powder)
  1. Cut watermelon into 1/2 inch thick slices and choose the smoothest, seedless parts to cut into cubes you could comfortably chew on. Eat the rest while you cook.
  2. Reserve a few mint leaves. Bring water and sugar to a boil, then reduce to simmer and simmer basil and rest of mint leaves for a couple minutes. Turn off heat and steep until cool. Stir in 2 T lime juice and marinate watermelon in mixture for several hours or overnight turning once or twice.
  3. Finely chop mint leaves and mix 1 T with 1 T lime zest, 1/4 t salt and 1/2 t sugar. Put on plate and spread out into a thin layer. Do the same with the remaining 1/4 t salt and chili.
  4. Take a watermelon cube and dip one side into the mint/lime mix. Place on a plate with mint mixture on top. Do the same with the remaining pieces alternately dipping in chili mix and mint mixture (you could probably dip in both, omitting the extra salt, but I enjoyed taking a spicy bite, then a tangy one). Freeze until solid. Eat!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • JanetFL
  • savorthis
  • gingerroot
  • aargersi
Co-Owner/Designer @ Where Wood Meets Steel-Custom Furniture

13 Reviews

JaneMiami July 14, 2015
I don't know how I could have missed this when you first posted recipe!! ??
Thank goodness I have now found it. Sounds incredible. Thanks.
JanetFL July 10, 2015
Still my favorite!
JanetFL July 3, 2013
Well, now I need to "fess up". Can't get any of that fancy chili powder where I am...I used SAY IT AIN'T SO - Mexene chili powder in the jar! Everyone loved it and it will again be front and center on the 4th of July!
savorthis July 3, 2013
Ha! I'm sure it was fine. And if we head your way I'll bring fancy pepper to swap for seed bread!
JanetFL July 3, 2013
You have a deal!
JanetFL July 3, 2013
This is my very favorite dessert! It is like ice cream, only better!
savorthis July 3, 2013
savorthis June 10, 2013
Thanks! I am still snacking on these. Especially today when we're getting our first real taste of heat!
JanetFL June 10, 2013
We are at 85 degrees in Gunnison! I might need to make a trip to City Market today for my personal watermelon!
JanetFL June 10, 2013
I'm on board! I'm really not much of a dessert person, either, and this recipe very much appeals to me. Thank you!
gingerroot June 7, 2013
I'm with you about desserts - my eyes are often bigger than my appetite for them - but I could eat more than my fair share of these lovely bites!
aargersi June 3, 2013
summertime dessert perfection!
savorthis June 3, 2013