Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Watermelon-Basil Salad

So, as regular readers might remember, I joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) this year with the hope that, in addition to supporting the local foods movement, I would also be forced into the kitchen more to actually cook and be inventive with food, something I find hard to do when I'm only making food for myself.
Watermelon Basil Salad

To some degree this has worked -- but you've probably notice a serious lack of posts recently. That's because I've reverted back into "hm, let me just saute these veggies together that could more or less go together..." or eating raw food (which is fine, but not a particularly thrilling blog post).

Sundays are different. Sundays, I actually make real food because E and I have a couple of friends over. That inspires me to cook (or at least be slightly more creative in the kitchen). It's nice to have something that resembles a family dinner once in a while.

This past Sunday, one of our friends brought a lovely cucumber salad, and I asked our other friend who usually comes to bring a seedless watermelon so I could create a watermelon-basil salad. Cool salads sounded particularly good since we're in the middle of a hotter-than-normal period of the summer. I based this salad off the first recipes that came up on Google under "Watermelon-Basil Salad" that didn't have feta. I wanted a vegan salad.

This recipe is super flexible, so I'm not providing amounts (though I do provide estimates below the recipe if you want to start with an approximation). Some people might like basil more than others (or your particular basil might be stronger/milder). The basil I used came from my CSA and this week it was Genovese. I asked my friend to bring a seedless melon because that made my job simpler (and they're cheaper at the store this week). If you prefer (or have) seeded watermelon, use that -- just remove the seeds as much as possible in advance or give it a good stir right before serving to push any seeds that have come loose toward the bottom of the bowl.

Watermelon-Basil Salad
Seedless watermelon, cubed
Basil, chiffonaded
Ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in an appropriately sized bowl and stir well. Let rest at least 15-20 minutes and stir again before serving.

That's it! Some recipes use vegetable oil, but I don't see the point. The salt will cause the watermelon to release a lot of liquid, so you may want to opt for serving this with a slotted spoon, but that's entirely up to you. Allowing the salad to sit for 15-20 minutes provides the opportunity for flavors to mingle.

Because I told you I'd provide estimates of quantity (this could have served 6):
1/2 medium-sized seedless watermelon
1/4 cup (tightly packed) basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

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