Between class, a toddler, work, and a trip to Illinois to watch my baby sister graduate high school you would think that I would be feeling quite occupied.
But summer makes me restless.
Maybe it is all those years in childhood when the summers were about freedom, adventure, and personal interests. The weather turns warm and I have a constant desire to be outdoors with my eyes wide open looking for something new to explore (even if it is a porch swing to nap on).
Now in adulthood I find myself in a grey cube with no sunlight and an obligation to stay put. Since moving past this phase in my professional life is a whole other process I focus instead on my desire to taste summer and escape for even a moment.
That is where this watermelon salad came in. I needed something that screamed summer to me and watermelon does just that. It is so juicy and hydrating on a hot day. The colors make me happy and remind me of popsicles and flowers. Don’t ask me why I don’t understand it myself.
Once I started making this simple and refreshing salad it did much more than I expected. It was more than a colorful and cool reminder of summer. It actually took me away to two special places. Watermelon isn’t something we have in our house very often, but when i was growing up every summer get together at my Aunt Margaret’s included at least one huge watermelon.
As I cut up my smaller version I was taken back to that picnic table and front yard swing in central Illinois. All of us gathered around with sticky fingers and pink stains on our shirts.
The fresh green mint added more than a little color to the salad too. As I chopped the leaves and tossed them in my senses went farther from home. A Caribbean cruise we took in college and the mojitoes we drank as we set sail from Miami . . .
Summer Watermelon Salad – serves 2 to 4 people (we ate it as a main dish)
1/2 medium watermelon, diced 1x1in
1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup good feta, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp good olive oil
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp lime zest
pinch of salt
1. In a large bowl toss the watermelon, onion, mint, and feta.
2. In a small bowl whisk the olive oil, lime juice, zest, and salt.
3. Pour the lime dressing over the salad. Toss and enjoy!