Summer time brings forth a bounty of mouthwatering and thirst-quenching fruits all across America. Watermelon, honeydew, pineapple, cantaloupe and a plethora of berries give us so much of our daily intake of antioxidants and vitamins, so why not put most of them together in this eye-appealing Watermelon Fruit Basket. It's a great centerpiece for any table at a party or larger event and is very fun to make.
Depending on how many people you would like to feed, purchase the size of watermelon most suitable for you. Don't go under the assumption that fruit is just merely for desert purposes only - fruit can be a light appetizer on a buffet or as a magnificent ending served with a variety of cheeses and crackers along with the coffee, too.
My watermelon basket was large, approximately 14 inches in length. Also, I purchased a smaller watermelon for extra melon balls as you do lose some fruit when you melon-ball the shell. Extra watermelon only adds to the visual appeal of the finished product and the recommendations I give you in this recipe will serve 10-12 people just by snacking alone. So, we can always back up the basket with a reserve of extra fruit in the refrigerator to refill.
This recipe is a basic guideline - you will get an idea of how much fruit you need for your project. Below I have given you a list of tools that will make life easier and a shopping list based on the serving size mentioned above. You can choose to cut the melons into chunks if you wish instead of using the melon ball tool.
Tools and Equipment
A large cutting board
A couple of sharp knives, preferably 2 to 3 inches in length (serrated ones also work here) or a chef's knife.
The carving knives that you buy at Halloween to carve pumpkins are also useful for intricacies.
1 large or small melon baller (large just makes life easier and faster when you're balling)
1 basket large enough to hold the melon or a large oval platter
Shopping List Ingredients
1 large oval watermelon (at least 12" long)
+ 1 smaller watermelon
1 large cantaloupe
1 small honeydew
2 lb. strawberries (halved or whole if small)
4 oz. blueberries
4 oz. blackberries
2 - 3 oz. raspberries (optional)
2 - 3 kiwi, peeled and sliced (optional)
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
2 bunches of kale for decoration
Making the Basket
1. First, wash all of the fruit before continuing. Slice a small piece of the watermelon from the bottom so that it will have stability on your cutting board.
Next, draw an oval line all the way around the watermelon, lengthways and draw two lines, approximately 2 to 3 inches wide (this will be the handle.)
Cut out the two sections on either side. A larger chef's knife works best here as you need to go deep enough to be able to pull the sections out. Take the melon baller and scoop out balls of melon from the inside and set aside. Using a spoon, scoop out the remaining bits of melon and place a couple of paper towels inside to soak up the juice. Cut the second melon in half and scoop out the melon balls.
2. Cut the top and bottom from the cantaloupe and honeydew melons, stand them on their end and slice away the rind if you are going to cut the pieces into chunks. If you wish to use the melon baller then simply cut the melons in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds.
3. Finally, using a sharp 3 inch knife make zigzag incisions (triangle shape) along the drawn lines around the melon and the handle. Place the melon on a large platter lined with greens, such as washed kale and place the mixed cut fruit/balls back into the melon. Add the mixed berries on top and around the melon and garnish with mint leaves and the kiwi if using.