Make Ahead

Frozen Basil, Mint, Lime and Chili Watermelon

June  3, 2013
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

  • Serves 8
  • 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)
In This Recipe
  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!

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