With a huge watermelon comes a LOT of fruit and with a lot of fruit comes new and exciting thoughts about how to use that fruit. While I was chopping up the dark pink and sugar sweet melon, I started to reminisce about a trip my husband and I took to our nation's capital. In the heart of Georgetown, tucked along the cobblestone streets and into the townhomes surrounding, there is an amazing restaurant. When we first had the privilege of dining there, it was probably one of the most upscale places I had ever eaten at before. As a part of a prix fixe summer menu, the restaurant featured a starter as a watermelon salad with balsamic, mint and tomatoes. The sweet and savory notes supplemented by the clean finish of the mint; certainly an experience my taste buds haven't forgotten all these years later. This recipe was 100% inspired by what (at the time) was a novel combination of flavors to me, and one that brings back very fond memories of great summer days and lovely summer nights.
Pro tip: make sure all of your fruit and vegetable ingredients are cold (i.e. - they are right from the fridge) so the salad is incredibly refreshing. I couldn't get enough of this dish when I made it on a hot early-summer night this week. It was a throw together - gather what I needed to use / sounded good and boom! The directions have 1 step (add to a bowl & stir), but I wouldn't hesitate to make this for any of the upcoming holidays. Not only is it pretty, but it's refreshing and sure to be the "hit" of the event. Any leftovers are best eaten by lunch the next day (which if you are wondering, I absolutely did!)
Sustainability Spotlight: Mint as an herb has many health benefits and medicinal properties. For example, mint has been shown to help settle sour stomachs (often why its given as an after dinner "treat" at restaurants along with its breath saving powers). The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of the plant are also contributors to mint's inclusion in toothpaste and mouthwashes. The easiest (and I mean absolute easiest) plant to grow? Mint! It takes care of itself - no added pesticides, herbicides or insecticides needed. Low moisture? No problem! Poor soil? No problem! Too much / too little sun? No problem! Mint (while not a weed) acts like a weed and grow literally anywhere and will propagate (grow and offshoot) with abandon. It's why I have a small area dedicated on the side of my house for mint and my kids can pick it / eat it all they like. No stewardship needed from me to help it grow and I always have mint to brighten my dishes early spring through late fall. Mint, the wonderful self-sustaining (and therefore sustainable) plant!
6 cups (cold!) cubed watermelon
1/2 pint strawberries (rinsed, hulled and sliced)
1 pint raspberries (rinsed)
1 cucumber (large - chopped; skin on)
1 handful mint (sliced)
1 tbsp agave syrup
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt (1/4 tsp at most)
2 limes (juiced)
Place all ingredients into a large bowl and mix; serve cold
Uh, how simple is that? Sometimes, simple can be the absolute BEST thing!
With love & hope for a better future for all of us - Jamie