Spicy Tuesday – Watermelon Salad for the 4th – Mint
There’s nothing better than pink, juicy, sweet, drippy watermelon in the summer, and July 4th kicks off watermelon season! Typically, we just enjoy eating it right out of hand, sharing with friends and family as we lean over to avoid getting rained on by sticky juice. This week’s recipe is a exception to the easy sweet, but we haven’t added lots of unnecessary ingredients to this wonderful watermelon salad. Just six ingredients to add a savory slant to the succulent melon.
Oil cured olives allow us to avoid adding additional oil to the salad. Typically from Morocco or Greece, these olives reach optimum flavor by curing first in salt and then soaked in olive oil until the are withered and super-packed with flavor. Just a few of these meaty and less bitter olives are the secret to this salads briny twang. We can find oil cured olives in the grocery store, (Whole Foods, Sprouts, Some Krogers, in the bottle or on the olive bar), here in Atlanta, but if you can’t find them where you are, they are available online.
A sprinkling of good feta is also added, and a half of a red onion, too. When we add raw onion to a salad, we always start our recipe by soaking the chopped or sliced onion in a boil of ice water for about 30 minutes. This removes the sting from the onion without stripping it of its wonderful onion flavor. Try using this tip for other salads too.
The last step is to add chopped basil and mint leaves. Both of these pungent herbs add lots of flavor to the salad, without salt, fat, sugar or calories. Mint, especially is a great partner to the basil in this salad, and its wonderful for many reasons health reasons as well. It can help soothe digestion issues which include nausea and vomiting. It is also great with respiratory issues and coughing, not to mention the fresh cool sensation it creates when you enjoy it in this week’s salad
Place the onion in a small bowl of ice water and set aside while you chop the watermelon and olives. Toss the watermelon, olives, and feta and lemon juice together gently. Remove the onion from the bowl and pat dry. Sprinkle the salad with the onion and herbs.