Thursday, May 28, 2009

Watermelon Salad

Fresh, crisp, juicy watermelon on a summer day – who doesn’t love it? Watermelon balls, chunks, wedges, or a half-melon with a spoon. Slurping up sweetness, spitting seeds, pink juice dripping down your chin. It’s simple and refreshing, and doesn’t need any dressing up. Or does it?

When I was a kid, I thought it was pretty strange that my South Dakota cousins salted their watermelon. Curiously, I tried it. The flavors danced around my mouth, and though, to this day, I prefer my watermelon wedges salt-free, the contrast between the fresh sweetness and the warm saltiness was stirring.

Then there’s the pickled watermelon my grandmother used to make. It was actually pieces of watermelon rind with vinegar, sugar, and spices. Good, but the breathtaking freshness of cool, crisp watermelon was completely gone. This was a different thing altogether.

A couple years ago, I came across a recipe for a watermelon salad. No, not a bunch of melon balls with a little citrus and mint. A real salad – with bitter greens, onions, nuts, cheese, and watermelon. How intriguing! I tried it and loved the crisp, tender, salty, crunchy, sweet, bitter salad. Contrasting flavors and textures abounded and somehow worked together beautifully.

To some of you, this will be nothing new or different. Since encountering this recipe, I’ve come across several similar ones. For the rest of you: try it. Keep an open mind, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

I haven’t gotten creative with this recipe, except that I haven’t managed to find raspberry vinegar, so I’ve used balsamic instead. I also used feta cheese instead of ricotta salata one time, and it’s good with either one. Because I haven’t added a twist to make this recipe my own, I’ll simply send you to Food & Wine for the original recipe: Watermelon and Arugula Salad with Walnuts

Let me know what you think.

No comments:

Post a Comment