Given a break from the picnic table, juicy watermelon reveals a deliciously sophisticated side.
Few fruits slake deep thirst the way luscious watermelon does. With flesh that's 91 percent water, it's easy to see why explorers once toted the hefty melon as a source of hydration. Nowadays, it's usually cubed for breakfast or snacking. But its role in the kitchen can go beyond the expected, and you will benefit nutritionally, too. "One cup of watermelon has almost 50 percent more lycopene -- the antioxidant that may help prevent certain cancers -- than one tomato," says Toby Smithson, a registered dietitian and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. In these easy recipes, the fruit displays new versatility. Atop a pork paillard, it balances the kick of jalapenos and the flavors of fish sauce and lime. As an oyster topper, it anchors lemon and pepper with sweetness. Of course, you can drink it, too, as a satisfying juice. The fruit offers a refreshing change of pace, no matter how you slice it.