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Compressed Watermelon, Three Ways

Use your vacuum sealer to get the most out of this summer fruit. Try these three ideas.

By Sara Johnson

Summer heat is the perfect time to experiment with sous vide—without the water bath. Simply vacuum-sealing produce like watermelon can concentrate flavors for an uncooked transformation. Sous-Vide writer Morgan Fecto explains the compression process: “Bags go in a vacuum chamber, and the changing pressure inside the sealer ruptures the cell walls of plant foods, forcing out water and air. The process alters textures and helps ingredients soak in marinades or other flavor-enhancers in a hurry.” Try these three recipes that enhance watermelon’s natural flavor with the power of compression.

Michel Richard’s Tuna & Compressed Watermelon Salad:

Pink cubes of tuna and compressed watermelon form this cold salad. After compressing the melon, the fish and fruit are tossed in a dressing featuring yuzu and red wine, white wine, apple cider, and rice vinegars. See Recipe.

Compressed Watermelon with Aged Balsamic Vinaigrette, Feta Crumble, Fresh Radish, and Sous Vide Farro:

Watermelon, feta, and balsamic salads are a summer staple on many restaurant menus. This recipe calls for compressing watermelon in the refrigerator for two hours before plating with cooked farro, feta, cherry tomatoes, and thinly sliced radishes topped with balsamic vinaigrette, Hawaiian black salt, and micro herbs. See Recipe.

Compressed Fruit Mosaic with Honey Poppy Seed Dressing:

Three types of melon combine with English cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, apples, and an avocado to create this modern take on a fruit salad. The fresh fruits and vegetables are compressed with a sweetened citrus dressing, then garnished with olive oil and microgreens. See Recipe.

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