Memorial Day Weekend is the traditional beginning of summer, although the calendar denotes June 21 as the first day of summer! As the weather warms, I love to lighten my cooking by reflecting on the lazy, carefree days of the season. Ripe fresh fruits and veggies dominate my menus; they are easy and healthy! Our town hosts a weekly farmer’s market with bountiful produce, baked goods, fish, cheeses, spices, and flowers. I grab my handmade straw bag and shop as if I am a chic Parisian female traversing to various establishments to purchase food for the evening meal. If only for a day, I would be transported to the enchanting city of lights.
A favorite with my family when I return from visiting the Famer’s Market is watermelon. Watermelon is synonymous with hot summer days, infused with sun-kissed flavor. I remember growing up waiting – not patiently- for my mother to cut an enormous watermelon for us to enjoy when we returned home from a day spent at the pool baking in the sun. (we didn’t know about sun protection then) Instantly cooling and so refreshing.
I still slice up watermelon to serve for family and friends on hot summer days. Perfect after a barbecue or here in New England, we’re fond of clam bakes. I love to splurge, for parties or picnics, making a watermelon salad adding tomatoes, red onion, and feta cheese with a sweet and salty dressing: fresh mint and a pinch of Himalayan pink salt are just the perfect finishing touch.
1 small watermelon (about 3 – 5 lb.)
1/2 c. fresh mint, finely chopped
1/4 c. red onion, thinly sliced
12 oz. cherry tomatoes halved
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. pure honey
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup Crumbled feta
pinch of Pink Himalayan salt
Remove the rind from the watermelon and cut the flesh into 1/2 inch-thick cubes; arrange on a platter. Top with fresh mint, red onion, and cherry tomatoes. Combine olive oil, fresh lime juice, pure honey, kosher salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Spoon over watermelon; top with crumbled feta. Sprinkle with a pinch of Pink Himalayan salt.
If you are taking on a picnic or to a party, assemble salad at your location.