West Hill House B&B

Summer Picnic Treat

June 13th, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

Stirring it up! We had a BBQ on the long weekend in May, a day I always think of as the first day of summer. In my books, watermelon is the quintessential summer fruit so of course it had to be included in the menu, but watermelon with a twist.

Watermelon & English Cucumber Salad

A cool and crisp summer salad.

  • 1T apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 sm clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2  large watermelon
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 cup  feta cheese
  • 5-6 sprigs of mint, save some whole leaves for garnish and finely chop the remainder
  • 1/4t. salt
  • a few grinds of fresh pepper

Mix the first three ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside to allow the flavors to blend.

Cut the watermelon in half width-wise then cut slices about 1″ thick. Remove rind and cut into bite-sized chunks. (If you wish to  serve the salad in a melon bowl, cut the melon either width-wise or length-wise and remove melon flesh with a melon baller. Scrape out remainder of the flesh with a large spoon then turn over the “bowl” and trim a small piece off the underside of the rind so the “bowl” sits flat.)

The skin on an English cucumber is edible so wash the cuke and trim the ends off. Cut the cuke into bite- sized chunks.

Place the melon, cuke,  feta cheese, and chopped mint in the serving vessel, sprinkle with salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss.

Place whole mint leaves on top and either serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until serving. It is not a good idea to make this too far in advance of serving as watermelon tends to loose a lot of juice as it sits.

Dishing it out! Many, many years ago we lived two doors down from a family with 5 boys roughly the ages of the four of us. Often on hot summer weekends the two families would pack up food and kiddos and go off to the mountains for a picnic. Watermelon was always for dessert and cooled in a nearby stream while we all enjoyed our lunch. Upon arriving at the picnic ground we would park the cars and the 7 younger kids would race off to find the perfect picnic table leaving the oldest offspring and adults to lug the food. On one memorable occasion I guess my dad was carrying a bit too much as the watermelon slipped from his grasp and landed with a resounding kerthump on the ground splitting open and  laying the juicy fruit at our feet. Needless to say lunch started with dessert that day!!

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