I have to admit that I don’t eat many fresh fruits and vegetables. I like fruit and some vegetables, but sometimes it’s easier to grab a candy bar or a tin of sardines. I’m lazy. Preparing salad diverts my efforts from other worthwhile endeavors. Like eating potato chips.
I was surfing recipes while I was at the bank drive thru when I found the perfect salad dressing recipe. As soon as I completed my transaction I had to go to Kroger for some oranges. This recipe captured my imagination that I had to get home to make it immediately. Or something like it.
I have great difficulty following recipes. I almost never follow a recipe. I see them as guidelines. When I saw the recipe for Citrus Shallot Salad Dressing, I was imagining Tangy Orange and Lime Salad Dressing sweetened with watermelon molasses.
I am very pleased with the results. The Tabasco lends the tiniest of bit of heat while you taste a faint hint of watermelon. It is so faint it is almost an afterthought. If you don’t want to burn up a whole day making watermelon molasses, you can always use a different sweetener. I think brown sugar would be a nice addition.
Juice from 2 oranges
Juice from 2 limes
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons watermelon molasses (or you can use honey or another sweetener)
1 large shallot, minced finely
2 dashes Tabasco
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Combine ingredients in a mason jar and shake until combined.
It has taken twenty-four hours to realize the fruit from my latest culinary adventure. I don’t even have a very clear idea as to what prompted this mission. I just knew I needed cookies. Watermelon cookies.
Anyone can make cookies out of fake syrupy stuff you make cocktails with, but to use real watermelon as a critical ingredient? I drew my inspiration from a couple of sites: cupcake project and Mother Earth News. The former actually drew inspiration from the latter. Watermelon molasses isn’t as popular as you might think.
There is no need to tell you how to make your own. Everything I know came from the aforementioned sites. I do feel compelled to tell you about the smell. That sweet and foul scent that makes you want to scrap the whole project.
I hate trying new things that have an unpleasant process. My stomach churns and and I’m gripped with fear. Fear that I created an abominable nightmare that could escape the confines of my kitchen, and if loosed, will envelop the countryside with a ghastly funk that could menace everyone it encounters.
I was lucky this time. The funk has abated and the cooked watermelon molasses has a very nice flavor. It’s not something you would want to spread on toast, but as a general sweetener, it is delightful.
One melon yielded 1 pint that I canned. Not much at all. I used watermelon pulp that I strained and 1/4 cup of molasses for cookies. The batter is chilling in the fridge until this evening. It tastes great as-is, so I expect these cookies to be exceptional.