Watermelon Bento 4.000

Michael Temchine for The Washington Post

Washington Cooks May 19, 2010

A bento box-inspired container made out of watermelon and garnished with pickled watermelon rind is a sophisticated vessel for serving Wild Ginger Sorbet (see related recipe online). Each container is 2 servings.

Make Ahead: The watermelon bento boxes can be carved a day in advance, placed in resealable plastic food storage bags and refrigerated for up to 2 days.


Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 large watermelons, preferably seedless (7 to 11 pounds)
  • 2 cups Wild Ginger Sorbet (see related recipe), or sorbet of your choice
  • 1/2 cup assorted fragrant, delicate herb leaves, such as lemon balm, lemon or lime basil, lemon verbena and mint, rolled and cut crosswise into thin strips (chiffonade)
  • Six 2-inch pieces homemade or store-bought pickled watermelon rind, cut into 1/4-inch dice, for garnish, plus 3 to 4 teaspoons of the pickling liquid

Related Recipes

Directions

Working with 1 watermelon at a time, cut it in half lengthwise. Lay each half on the cutting board cut side down. Working with one half of the melon at a time, slice 1 inch of the rounded top from the watermelon. You want to cut away enough so you can expose at least a 5-by-5-by-8-inch rectangle of red. Slice away the sides of the melon until the center has been shaped into block 8 inches long, 5 inches wide and 5 inches high. Cut a 3/4-inch slice from the top of the watermelon block to form the lid of the box. Scoop out the inside of the block, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Reserve the scooped-out insides for another use, if desired. Repeat with the other watermelon half and the remaining watermelon.

Place 1 large scoop (about 1 cup) of the sorbet in each of the watermelon boxes; divide the herb leaves among the boxes, placing them a small mound next to the sorbet inside the box. Top the leaves with a few pieces of pickled watermelon rind and drizzle them with 1 to 2 teaspoons of the rind pickling liquid. Arrange the watermelon lids so they are on the boxes, slightly ajar.

Serve immediately.

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Recipe Source

From Gabe Mandel of Garrett Park.

Tested by Gabe Mandel and Bonnie S. Benwick.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.