I am timidly participating in the Pennywise Platter Thursday Carnival over at The Nourishing Gourmet. Timidly, because there is still SO much to learn about healthy cooking and rethinking some “truths” about food I’ve thought for years. But this is one of my favorite summer dishes, and it is all read food, pretty frugal (though it isn’t a main dish) and definitely feeds a LOT, all criteria for the carnival. If you haven’t ever read Kimi’s blog, definitely go check it out. SO much information and how-tos there. I heartily recommend adding it to your feed reader. So, on to the dish:
Refreshing Mint and Melon Salad:
1 small seedless watermelon (I only buy these when they are in season and on sale at our farmer’s market, so watermelon is a treat for us. This year we are attempting to grow some though and I’m pretty excited! – 2.99-3.99)
1 small cantaloupe (Same deal as above – .75 – 1.00)
Ball both of these into one or two large bowls. For more color and variety, you can add a honeydew. I only do this when I have an large crowd (like 15-20) to feed. Elsewise we just cannot finish it all in a week!
1 c. simple syrup – this is one cup of water and one cup of sweetener of your choice – I use palm sugar and lessen the amount to 1/2 c. Heat until sugar is dissolved well, then chill. (I can get a pack of three blocks of palm sugar for 1.98 at my Asian foods store. This recipe would take maybe half of one block, so .33)
1 lemon, juiced (lime would be good, too. One organic lemon – .99)
1 large handful mint leaves (I highly recommend a mint plant. They are virtually impossible to kill, and are great to add to SO many dishes, and convenient when it’s right outside your door – this year I got “chocolate mint” from my farmer’s market. The plant cost $2 for a seemingly endless supply of mint).
Combine syrup, juice and mint in blender and pulse a few times. Pour over melon and chill for a bit, or dig right in! Definitely tastes better once the flavors have melded and soaked into the melon.
1. If you don’t have a large sweet tooth, just the juice and mint would do for a dressing, especially if you get really ripe and sweet melon. The lemon against the melon flavors makes a really crisp, refreshing taste. Then add the mint and it’s sooooo good!
2. I think adding nuts like the Persian Watermelon Salad would be interesting, though I’ve never tried it.
I would pair this with a tomato and hummus wrap (with soaked tortillas) for a great summer lunch.