I wasn’t always a believer of this salad, but I’ve since changed my opinion. I was hesitant to try it, because it sounded kind of weird to me. Fruit, oil, vinegar and mint? Sounds like a recipe mushy food with a hint of toothpaste. Plus, why would you want to mess with watermelon? It’s perfect au natural. Then I had this salad at Cabinpalooza.
Twice a year, my friends and I go up to our friends parents cabin in Invermere, BC. We call it Cabinpalooza. It used to be a heavy party weekend, but has grown into a culinary adventure as we’ve aged and matured. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still one big party…just not as big as our younger selves partied. We’ve grown up from ichiban noodles, Subway party subs and crappy beer. We now have quality wine and import beer, and food that doesn’t come from a package that you need to add water to or from a fast food joint.
This salad appeared at Taco Night. We had a variety of tacos, rice and the salad. I tried a few bites because of the peer pressure. My friends didn’t lead me astray. It’s wonderful. Light, crisp and refreshing. It’s summer in your bowl (or on your plate, if that’s how you’re dishing it up).
I had this again last weekend, and it brought me right back to the last Cabinpalooza. Long, warm summer days. Late evenings out on the deck, talking with friends (and eavesdropping on the other neighbors doing just the same). Reminiscing about the old days, past Cabinpaloozas, planning for future ones – planning for what we should eat at future ones. Talking about playing a game of Ravine, but never actually getting around to it.
It goes with almost any dish, though we prefer it with Mexican or BBQ. Use fresh mint – it’s way better. Plus, you could use the left over mint that you will have (because they sell mint in absurd quantities) to make a summery, minty drink like a Mojito.
Watermelon Cucumber Mint Salad
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
1/4 medium sized watermelon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Several leaves fresh mint
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Remove the skin and seeds from the watermelon and cucumber.
2. Cut the watermelon and cucumber into 1-inch pieces.
3. Chiffonade the mint.
4. Toss the watermelon and cucumber with the oil, vinegar, mint, salt and pepper.
5. Serve cold.