Grilled Blackberry Watermelon with Lavender Sea Salt

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Grilled Watermelon

Do you have friends that you connect with on and off and somehow, even when you haven’t seen them for a while, (maybe a year or ten), you can just pick right back up?  And, then you wonder why you don’t see them more often? I have lots of these kinds of friends, some living in other states, and some right here not too far away, and it always makes me happy to reconnect with them, especially if it involves food.

Friendship is very complicated and this holds true the older I get. I have a friend who meant a lot to me and something happened between us that wasn’t our doing. We believed in something together and that something wasn’t what we thought it was. Our friendship had lots of commonality that I wish we could have stuck to, such as eating healthy food, our mutual love of the colors white and sea glass and the near neurotic need to have things at home in order. We both frazzle quite easily when things are cluttered and we don’t react well when people hurt us. We tend to retreat. Many times during the last few years, we have tried to get together and it seems that one thing or another kept getting in the way. I wish we could have easily gone back to the first time we had dinner at my house. I served meatloaf. Meatloaf! Who serves meatloaf to company? But we ate in the kitchen and it was good, comfy meal that started a good, comfy friendship.

Last week I had heard my friend was moving out of state, going off to a new life, new journey with her husband and children, and I thought “I wish I could say goodbye” but she was leaving in a few days and probably too busy. To my surprise she followed me on twitter (my friends don’t usually do that) and I got a chance to wish her well in 144 characters or less.

She called the next day to say goodbye and asked me if I wanted her stash of frozen blackberries. By stash, she meant 10 large bags. Blackberries are special, and she could have offered them to anyone, but she chose me, and I’m guessing it’s because she knew they would mean something.

Not only did I feel a sudden joy to get those blackberries, I couldn’t wait to drive over and give her a real hug goodbye. We talked about blogging, her gorgeous daughters, her excitement that the house she is moving into has a real vegetable garden and we exchanged recipes. She turned me on to a platform I knew nothing about, Pinterest, a place to catalog your favorite things on the web, like white rooms and Spinach Tiger recipes.


The hand-picked blackberries were more than blackberries to me. It is now warmly established that I will remember her every time I do anything with this fruit. . As soon as I got in the door, I began to get out large pots and make blackberry syrup. Not having a real recipe, I instinctively threw in a cinnamon stick, sugar, some white wine and a little lemon. It’s a taste as you go kind of recipe that I can perfect with the next batch, but I have written out a guideline.

Blackberry juice is a dark stain. It’s gets all over things. It’s rich, vibrant and sexy. It lets you know it’s in the kitchen. And, it can take you lots of places. I made sorbet, sangria, salad dressing, and glazed watermelon, all at once, not only wanting to have some fun, but also to not waste anything my friend had hand picked.

How I ever got to making watermelon skewers on the grill glazed with blackberry syrup and sprinkled with lavender salt is as much mystery to me as the invention of chocolate and chile. Sometimes it just finds itself. I’ve always thought watermelon to be a perfect food that couldn’t be improved upon, but I must take that back. It loves the glaze of blackberry syrup, and when it’s grilled, the flavors are enhanced. Lavender is tricky because it can turn into perfume. Restraint is a key word, but the sea salt brings a perfect balance to the sweetness of the syrup, the juiciness of the watermelon and the fragrance of the lavender. A smattering of freshly ground black pepper does not hurt this dish either. And, that is up to you.

If you don’t have blackberries or time to make a syrup, you can use raspberries, blueberries or even a melted down jelly or jam. You can use a regular sea salt or make your own lavender sea salt. Just be sure to use restraint with the lavender. It should be just a hint.

As far as picnic food, you can eat the melon right off the grill, or grilled and then chilled and taken along as a surprise remake of an old outdoor favorite food.

The way to truly enjoy this (almost meaty) rendition of watermelon is with a protein. For the gourmet picnic, I would pair it with prosciutto. Serve with blackberry sangria, (recipe to follow).

So tell me, what do YOU like to take on a picnic?

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Glazed Blackberry Watermelon with Lavender Sea Salt on the Grill Makes a PIcnic More than Gourmet

Grilled Watermelon with blackberry syrup, lavender sea salt perks up any cookout.
Course: Dessert
Author: Angela Roberts


  • Watermelon
  • Blackberry syrup see below
  • Lavender sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper optional


  • Cut watermelon in to cubes
  • Soak wooden skewers for 30 minutes so they don’t burn
  • Place cubes on skewers. Brush with syrup.
  • Grill a few minutes on high on each side. Sprinkle mildly with the sea salt.
  • Cut watermelon in to cubes
  • Soak wooden skewers for 30 minutes so they don’t burn
  • Place cubes on skewers. Brush with syrup.
  • Grill a few minutes on high on each side. Sprinkle mildly with the sea salt.

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Blackberry Syrup

  • 4 cups frozen blackberries (can use fresh)
  • Enough water to cover just to cover
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Sugar to taste (1-2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons triple sec (optional)
  1. Heat blackberries at a medium heat until sugar is melted and liquid is reduced
  2. Take berries through a sieve to prevent seeding. Don’t force, but allow to sit over a bowl in a sieve or cheesecloth for an hour. Then gently crush through.

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