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
  • 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

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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.

Rate it

Recipe Source

From Gabe Mandel of Garrett Park.

Tested by Gabe Mandel and Bonnie S. Benwick.

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Email questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.