With just one weekend left before Labor Day, my mission is to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible.
Luckily, with a refrigerator stocked with Summer’s seasonal bounty of fruit and vegetables, you can knock up a good meal with minimal preparation. This morning when I opened the fridge, I was greeted by three-quarters of a juicy watermelon and decided that instead of slicing and serving (again), I would try two delicious, summery variations: firstly, a zesty watermelon and feta salad and secondly, a mouthwatering watermelon gazpacho.
Watermelon & Feta Salad
My other half raves about the watermelon salad they serve at Burger & Barrel in SoHo, but I didn’t have its other key ingredient—shisito peppers—in the fridge, so I used what we had. As a result, this watermelon salad is so, so refreshing. The salty, crumbly feta contrasts with both the sweetness and the texture of the watermelon, and the onions, olives and mint give it a certain zing.
And, in keeping with my vow to enjoy the last few drops of summer, it is easy to make!
- Approx 3 cups of watermelon
- ½ Vidalia or red onion, sliced thinly
- 1/3 cup of feta cheese
- A handful of olives
- A few sprigs of mint
- A glug of olive oil and red wine vinegar
- Sea salt
Start by soaking the onions in iced water for about 30 minutes to reduce some of their heat. While they’re chilling and soaking and generally enjoying the summer, chop the watermelon into inch-square chunks.
Next, take the watermelon chunks and mix with the onions, crumbled feta, olives and mint. Plate simply and drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Sprinkle with sea salt and you’re done.
See? I promised easy!
Using watermelon to make gazpacho gives you a mouthwateringly refreshing change from tomato gazpacho. It is a very light appetizer, but you could make it more substantial by adding some chopped avocado, some crab meat, corn or even a shrimp or two.
- 2-3 cups of watermelon, roughly chopped
- ½ cucumber, peeled and sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- Some ice cubes
- Basil to garnish
Put all the ingredients (except the ice cubes and the basil) into a food blender and pulse the mixture, add one ice cube at a time to keep the machine going. Once everything is blended together, refrigerate the mixture and then serve with a drizzle of olive oil and garnish with some basil.
So, that’s two really easy and really impressive summery dishes.
Of course, if you are feeling really lazy, just serve your watermelon with a squirt of lime-juice or a dash of sea salt—simple mouthfuls of summer.