Watermelon is the perfect summer treat. Fruit or vegetable is always a question that arises as this gem is a relative of the squash and pumpkin. Full of refreshing juicy goodness. Watermelon is full of the antioxidant lycopene (red color) and because of it’s high water content delivers a nutrient-packed punch. High in Vitamin C and Vitamin A as well as magnesium, potassium, and fiber.
Cucumbers are also in season during the late summer. I enjoy using the ‘garden’ cucumber which is a bit more rustic than the English cucumber (and which lends itself to peeling due to its tougher peel). Cucumbers are also a great source of vitamin C and A as well as folic acid. For this salad, I recommend peeling the cucumber, however, if using organic cucumber and you enjoy the peels then, by all means, leave them on.
Back to the star of this salad – whether you slice, cube or scoop it, watermelon can be enjoyed on easily on its own. You can also freeze it and turn it into a granita or juice it and add it to sparkling water for a refreshing beverage. To find a juicy one I usually use the “tap” trick. I knock on the melon to see if it sounds hollow – most of the time it works. You should ensure to wash the outside of your melon before you cut it to help make sure that no pathogens are transferred to the melon flesh when cutting into it. This may seem like a big job if you’ve selected a large melon but is always good practice (you can use a wet rag with produce soap to rinse it off).
Both of these salads are refreshing in their own way. The blueberries provide a touch of sweetness while the citrus of the lemon more of tang. What direction you take it is up to you.
For the salad, I use cubes of watermelon as the base. I aim for around 3-4 (or more ) cups depending on the size of the crowd I’m preparing it for. Both versions are hydrating and have mint as the featured herb. You can substitute basil if you don’t have mint on hand. I’ve included some optional add-ons that you can incorporate to change up the salad if you’d like.
For the base salad you’ll need:
- sharp knife
- cutting board
- 4 cups of watermelons (500-600g)
- 1-2 cucumbers
- 1 bunch of mint
- Optional add-ons for either salad:
- dash/pinch of salt
- A drizzle of evoo (extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 avocado cut into cube
- use basil instead of mint as the fresh herb
- add cubes of feta cheese
- 1-2 lemons (organic) cut into wedges
Blueberry salad extra ingredients:
- 200-300g fresh (organic) blueberries
- Peel the cucumber and cut into cubes – set aside in a bowl
- Cube watermelon and place into a serving bowl
- remove mint from stems and chiffonade
- mix watermelon and cucumber cubes together with a gentle toss
- sprinkle the mint over the top
- include any of the extras listed above (or serve as is)
- serve immediately
-serve each serving with a wedge of lemon on the side for your guests to add the lemon juice
-squeeze 1/2 of the lemon juice over the salad before serving and serve with a bowl of extra lemon wedges on table
-Wash and rinse blueberries mix in gently with cucumber and watermelon. Serve immediately.
-this salad will keep for 1-2 days in an airtight container. Keeping the ingredients separate will keep things from getting soggy.