Few things are as refreshing on a hot summer day as watermelon. A slice of juicy watermelon is just the right taste and texture for taking the edge off a sweltering afternoon.
The reason might well be that watermelon is 92 percent water. But in addition, has significant amounts of vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids. It’s also very low in sodium and calories.
In July I attended an 18-day silent meditation retreat at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. In addition to the glorious 18 days of silence and meditation, the meals are always a treat. Small, seedless, organic watermelons were plentiful this year. In addition to eating unadulterated slices for dessert at times, the cooks also featured chunks of watermelon in green salads.
While I don’t know exact measurements or even exact ingredients they used, I attempted to make a similar salad at home. Pungent arugula and salty feta cheese were perfect complements to the sweetness of the melon. Red onion adds sharpness and the dressing pulled it all together.
Here’s what I did:
Meatless Monday: Refreshing Watermelon Salad
- 1/2 small watermelon (seedless if possible), cut in 1-inch cubes
- 6 cups arugula
- 7-8 ounces sheep’s milk feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 a small watermelon (seedless if possible), cut in 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds, walnuts or filberts
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil (I used opal basil for color contrast, but sweet basil works fine.)
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all salad ingredients in a big bowl.
- Place dressing ingredients in a small, lidded jar. Shake vigorously, until all the ingredients are blended.
- Garnish with extra mint, basil and nuts.
Feel free to add or subtract ingredients, or to play with the measurements. The measurements I give here are an approximation of the measurements I used, so have fun experimenting!