two melon and cucumber mint salad – when it’s too hot to cook, part II

18 Jul

This is just getting ridiculous.  This, this weather.

In keeping with my watermelon affinity and constant stock of said fruit in the fridge, last night I made one of my favorite summertime salads. I love the colors of the salad, with its vibrant green from fresh mint, jalapeños, and English cucumbers intermixed with glorious ruby red watermelon and orange cantaloupe. I made this salad a few years back for one of my friend’s baby showers (she had a girl, so the colors were perfect) held on a hot summer day in the backyard. The colors and refreshing flavors were the perfect addition to the buffet table! I may even make it again this weekend for a potluck we’re going to – as long as the weather drops about 20 degrees. It’s perfect for a brunch table, or as a side dish to grilled chicken or salmon. Or as lunch, which is what I’ll be having today.

Today’s salad is similar to the one I wrote about a while back when I served it with cedar-plank grilled salmon:

watermelon-mint salsa

3 cups chopped watermelon
1 plum, pitted and chopped
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 jalapeno pepper, cored and minced
2 limes, finely zested and juiced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons canola oil

In a bowl, combine all ingredients.  Toss gently.  Chill until ready to serve with the salmon.  Makes about 4 cups salsa.

But, to be honest, I love today’s salad more because of the crisp cucumber. Also, I added some fresh peaches to the cantaloupe and watermelon. (I’ve mentioned that all I want to do is eat fruit and ice cream, right?) I like to serve this salad in a separate cup or vessel as it is juicy and may run into your other foods on the plate. A wine glass worked well for us last night, but if you’re hosting a larger fete, something like these from Shop Sweet Lulu are the perfect option!

two melon and cucumber mint salad (page 121,  Small Plates: Appetizers as Meals)

6 cups seedless watermelon,  1-inch cubed  
1 small cantaloupe,  1-inch cubed
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1/2 jalapeno pepper, cored and minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons canola oil

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

In a bowl, combine all ingredients.  Toss well. Allow to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.  

And, if you are heading to a BBQ this weekend, or are planning on having people over, might I just remind you that this is one of my favorite summertime menus. I could eat corn and bean salsa for days and days and days. Don’t forget to buy some Tostitos Scoops chips because they come in handy for the day-after  c & b salsa binging.

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