The Watermelon Pizza

Prep time 15 mins | Cooking time 0 mins | Makes 2 pizzas
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This fruity twist on a classic Margherita pizza is a great way to Stay cool this summer!

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Hi foodies, if you’ve been keeping up with my Instagram account you may have seen my food and travel shots from in and around Queenstown, New Zealand. I’ve been enjoying some truly remarkable (no pun intended) days exploring the local food scene and visiting some stunning locations such as Lake Wanaka, Lake Wakatipu and even Glenorchy, where they filmed The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Chronicles of Narnia. Keep reading over Summer for my verdict on all that Queenstown has to offer.

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On Tuesday evening we remembered the anniversary of the Sydney Siege and the tragic loss of Lindt Cafe staff members Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson. It was strange watching the story unfold on Sky News here in Queenstown. I couldn’t help but wish I was back home to pay my tributes that evening. I pray for their souls and for all those affected in the siege.

With Summer on it’s way I bet your kids are looking forward to the Christmas holidays and countless hours of free-time to enjoy the sunshine! If you’re looking for a quick and easy, value-for-money way to keep them occupied for a few hours then this is the recipe for you. I’ve taken the classic Margherita pizza and given it a fruity twist, swapping sliced watermelon for the base and strawberries, ricotta and mint for the typical tomato, basil and mozzarella topping.  A sprinkling of white chocolate ‘parmesan’ seals the deal.  It’s a great way to introduce your children to cooking – a skill they will cherish for life – and a clever way to entice them to eat fresh fruit.

If you don’t happen to have a bunch of little ones at hand then fear not. I know my friends would be just as excited to put this one together. Throughout October I presented a series of workshops at Macquarie University as part of the launch of Locavores MQ, a new volunteer student-run grocery co-op on campus (more info here) . I made this pizza on my final day using some beautifully plump berries and juicy watermelon supplied by Harvest Hub. It certainly put a smile on many people’s faces.

I think this pizza would make a fabulous end to a delicious Christmas lunch. You could set slices of watermelon on a platter and arrange some fruit, soft cheese, and chocolate in little bowls. Your guests can help themselves to the toppings to create their very own pizza masterpiece. With all the fabulous fruit available at this time of year, why stop at strawberries? I bet this watermelon pizza would look and taste delicious topped with sliced banana, a sprinkle of plump blueberries, slivers of mango, lychees, a swirl of passionfruit…and the list goes on.

Have you got a great pizza topping idea? Perhaps a swirl of chocolate ganache or some popping candy. Leave me a message in the comment section below.

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Ingredients
For the ‘pizza’ base
  • 1 whole ripe watermelon
For the toppings
  • 1 punnet strawberries, washed
  • 100g reduced-fat ricotta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, washed
  • 50g white chocolate
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Method

Make the base. Place the whole watermelon onto a chopping board. Use a long serrated knife or breadknife to carefully slice two discs from the watermelon. Save the remaining watermelon for another time.

Prepare the toppings. Slice the strawberries through the middle stopping just before the green stem.  This will allow you to ‘fan’ them open on the pizza. Pick a handful of mint leaves and set aside. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the white chocolate to form ‘parmesan’ shavings and set aside.

Assemble the pizza. Now for the fun part.  Place the sliced watermelon onto a serving platter and then have fun topping with the strawberries, ricotta, mint and white chocolate.

Slice into wedges then serve.

What the food? The origins of the Margherita Pizza are heavily debated but the most popular tradition suggests that in 1889, chef Raffaele Esposito, claimed to be the father of modern pizza, presented a pizza to Queen Margherita of Savoy, which featured the colours of the Italian flag – red tomatoes, white mozzarella and green basil. He named the dish in her honour and rest, as they say, is history. 

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Brendon’s Tips:

  • When buying watermelon look for a smooth undamaged shell. Ripe watermelon will sound hollow when tapped.
  • This pizza can be made with any combination of fresh fruit. You can try apple slices, banana or even blueberries too.
  • For a savoury twist try topping with shaved prosciutto, torn buffalo mozzarella and rocket leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Writer’s Notes: This post first appeared in Australian Catholics: Food Glorious Food.

What are you eating today? Share your recipes and food photos by tagging #brendonthesmilingchef and #whatsbrendoncooking on Instagram or Tweeting to @bthesmilingchef or leave me a comment below.

Happy cooking and keep smiling,

Brendon 🙂

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One Comment Add yours

  1. chefceaser says:

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.

    Liked by 1 person

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