Ryan Liebe for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.
Consumed plainly or with a salt sprinkle, fresh watermelon conjures warm-weather memories. In the U.S. (primarily in the American South), master gardeners are growing heirloom (seedful) varieties: sugar baby, jubilee and Georgia rattlesnake. In Apex, N.C., Gabrielle E.W. Carter is the new steward of the property once owned by her maternal great-grandfather, where she grows herbs, tomatoes and watermelon. As a multimedia artist, she is documenting the food ways of Black families in Eastern North Carolina and preserving cooking traditions using fruits and vegetables straight from the garden. Crimson-flesh watermelon transforms the classic panzanella with a balanced sweetness. Using a coarse grater is essential in achieving a vibrant, textured dressing. Bocconcini can be substituted for feta cheese in this salad, which pairs well with festive mains like dry-rub mushrooms and spicy tamarind pork ribs. —Nicole Taylor, Yewande Komolafe