You know you’re a blogger when… you buy a watermelon and start wondering what kinds of salads you can make with it. Normally I’d slice it up and cut it into sections, grab a fork and start eating. Watermelon is my thing. Well right on the list under cantaloupe. Cantaloupe gets first billing because I’m better at choosing ripe ones.
Watermelon is a crap shoot for me. I don’t seem to have a “good watermelon” magnet in me. I don’t choose the best ones, so I leave it to my P.S. to choose. We usually have good ones, but I guess there really isn’t a “bad” watermelon. Just ones that are sweeter than others.
I like watermelon best with salt sprinkled on it. That’s a bad habit from when I was a kid; my dad taught me how to do that. We both know that’s bad now, but I sneak a treat once in a while. Dad probably does too.
So I discovered recipes do exist that include watermelon. Most of them are the same: watermelon, chopped mint, lemon or lime juice and crumbled feta. I’m all for lime juice and feta, but I don’t think I want mint marring my watermelon experience. We’ll see.
I looked at the pretty pictures of so many recipes where they did the balling method and was tempted to do that as well. I cut the watermelon in half, then used a melon baller to make circles of watermelon. That is easier said than done! Nearly every ball had a flat side to it; there must be an art to doing these, and I am clueless. Oh well, they would taste fine anyway, I decided. I may have to research the method the next time I make melon balls (if ever).
I’ve gotten in the habit of trimming every watermelon as it comes in the door. I put it into my favorite Ziploc shoebox containers so it’s easy to have a bowl full as a snack. We don’t waste any watermelon by doing that. But the habit was formed because they rarely fit into the kitchen fridge in whole form and if we store it in the basement fridge it gets forgotten until it’s inedible. I decided to make half the watermelon salad recipe as it is meant to be eaten immediately. Since there are just two of us, we didn’t need a whole lotta balls. I cut the other half of my little melon in cubes.
The cubed watermelon went into the fridge as well as the container of melon balls, until after dinner, when I finished making the salad. I tossed those cute melon balls with the lime juice, sprinkled with cayenne. Uh oh, later I realized I used the full large pinch of cayenne for the full recipe, and I made a half recipe. The salad was a bit more HEATED than it normally would be but not inedible. It was kind of fun to feel the burn and then have the cold watermelon to soothe our tongues.
I did go ahead and chiffonade the mint leaves and add them; I could have made them much thinner as the were sometimes a bit overwhelming in a bite of salad. But I know now for future salads. Learn by doing, I guess.
I added the feta crumbles, and served the salads in pretty glass bowls. It was a nice light finish to our meal. I’d read in one recipe where they said a dash of rum is a nice addition, but we didn’t go there this time. We did love it just as it was, in spite of the cayenne catastrophe. I’d love to make it again, but will probably stick to dicing the watermelon into chunks. Not as messy and less melon would lose its life in the making of the salad.
8 lb watermelon, diced or balled (about 8 cups)
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup feta crumbles
1/2 cup fresh mint; very thinly sliced
pinch of cayenne