Watermelon Basket

  • Yield: 10 servings


1medium watermelon
2cups canteloupe balls
2cups honeydew balls
2cups fresh hulled strawberries
1cup blueberries
1cup seedless grapes
1cup granulated sugar
3/4cup water
1cup dry vermouth
1/4cup cognac
2 bananas, divided
Grape leaves


  1. Make a basket of the watermelon by cutting a 2-inch-wide band across the center of the width of the watermelon, stopping about 1/3 of the way down from the top.  (This makes the handle of the basket.)  Cut the sides of the melon, about 1/3 of the way down from the top, into scallops.  Remove the top sections and hollow out the watermelon in large pieces.
  2. With a melon ball cutter, scoop out balls from the large pieces of watermelon.  Place the watermelon balls in a large mixing bowl and add the canteloupe, honeydew, strawberries, blueberries, and grapes.
  3. In a medium-sized saucepan dissolve the sugar in the water over low heat.  Increase the heat to moderately high and boil the syrup for 5 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and let the syrup cool.  When cool, add the vermouth and the cognac.  Pour the syrup over the fruits and toss the mixture lightly.  Place the fruits into the watermelon basket and cover the basket with foil.  Chill 2 to 4 hours.  Add bananas just before serving.  Place the basket on a platter surrounded by grape leaves.

Recipe reprinted with permission from The Junior League of Pasadena’s The California Heritage Cookbook (Pasadena, California, 1976).