Both our farm shares have provided watermelons in the past few weeks, which hasn’t stopped Steve from buying them at our local markets. According to many farmers we’ve talked to, the staggering summer heat has affected many crops—but the melons seem to take the weather well. Noting Michelle’s apprehension at our growing mound of melons, Steve offered to make her some agua fresca.
We first encountered this delicious drink years ago at the Mayan Gypsy, a marvelous restaurant featuring Bruce Ucán’s evocations of and innovations on Yucatan cuisine. We then discovered the “home version” in Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Fruit. Like many of Alice’s recipes, it’s devastatingly simple—all you need is a blender, sugar, water, limes and, of course, watermelon. Agua fresca (“fresh water”) is cool, sweet and satisfying. It’s an easy, delicious way to beat the summer heat—and take care of any surplus melons you may have around.
WATERMELON AGUA FRESCA
(from Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Fruit)
Cut 7 pounds of watermelon into chunks, discarding the rind. In batches, liquefy the melon in a blender, pulsing in short bursts to avoid grinding the seeds. Strain, pushing pulp through the sieve. Thin juice with about 2 cups water and sweeten with 1/4 cup sugar. Add about 1-1/2 TB lime juice. Chill.