This watermelon with fleur de sel might seem unorthodox, sure. Watermelon is fantastic on its own, why mess with perfection? Trust us. A simple sprinkle of salt makes watermelon even more superb than you’d think possible.
The simplest and best dessert I know.
Extremely versatile, salt can balance flavor, tone down acidity, and highlight sweetness, especially that of the porous ruby fruit of watermelons. I use coarse sea salt, which contains essential minerals and has a gentle flavor, unlike refined table salt, which is bitter and almost completely lacking in minerals.–Peter Berley
Watermelon with Fleur de Sel
- 1 chilled watermelon* seedless or not, any color
- Pinch coarse fleur de sel
*What happens when you put salt on watermelon?It makes it taste great, of course. But why? What else is going on there? The addition of salt changes the texture of the fruit by drawing some of that water to the surface, making it seem even juicier. It also makes the fruit taste sweeter by shifting the flavor profile a little. Adding salt makes you realize just how sweet the watermelon is by comparison. Watermelon, on its own, has a very low sodium content and we all know that salt is one of the best flavor enhancers out there. Just a little sprinkle, especially of the good stuff, will amp up even the most lacklustre fruit.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
I’m perhaps not the most impartial person to ask as my favorite accompaniment to watermelon has long been napkins—lots and lots of napkins. But the sweet saltiness of fleur de sel sprinkled on top sorta astonished me.
The approach couldn’t be easier, yet has its own sort of elegance about it. And it’s really something to see the expression on other peoples’ faces when you set out a platter of this simple yet stunning summeriness. It’s a casual yet sophisticated take on a summer classic. Well, as sophisticated as drippy, juicy watermelon can aspire to be.
It’s September already and time to savor the remaining goodness of summer. I spotted a small watermelon at the farmers market and it was yellow and not seedless. I set the watermelon chunk on a plate, sprinkled with the coarse salt, and dove right in. The little tingle of salt was thrilling, most especially for a serious under-salter like me. That little salty tingle kept me right on going through the baby watermelon till it was gone–be forewarned!
The going back for seconds part of the instructions leads easily to going back for thirds and more, notwithstanding that I was devouring and simultaneously spitting seeds, lot of seeds, and then immediately back for more! I’m hoping summer gives us a few more weeks of watermelons so this can be enjoyed with any variety of watermelon that comes along, red or yellow, large or small!
Originally published July 04, 2012