With these warmer days, many of us enjoy the art of grilling and dining al fresco. If it is only a small gathering or a large multi-generational assemblage, it is comforting to be out of doors. With a cool refreshment in hand, it is a joy to be amazed at the boundless energy of the younger ones running amok. Remember when that was said about you? “I don’t know where you children get all of your energy!”, I recall a great-aunt remarking as my cousins and I frolicked boundlessly on the lawn.
One thing I learned about our meals back then was that everything, except the featured item for the grill, was prepared in advance. This left everyone free to enjoy the time without juggling items over a hot stove. It was relaxed, casual, and great fun for all.
Times and tastes have changed, but thoughtfulness in planning has not. It is still a great idea to have a summer side dishes prepared in advance and served either slightly chilled or at room temperature.
For desert back then, I remember devouring wedges of watermelon, covering my face, hands, and arms in the sticky sweetness. Today, I prefer a fork to fingers and don’t think of watermelon as something meant strictly for dessert. My palate has changed too - and I prefer a more global approach to flavors as opposed to the simple Southern and Mid-Westen fare of my upbringing.
Today’s Fresh Recipe is remarkably easy, buoyantly tasty, healthy, and perfect for any warm-weather gathering. For the freshest flavor have all ingredients prepared ahead of time, and simply combine and toss when ready to serve.
Thai Spiced Watermelon Salad
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time 15 minutes
for the salad
4 cups Watermelon Cubed and Chilled
1/4 cup cucumber cut into small pieces
2 tbsp onion thinly sliced
2 tbsp roasted peanuts. Crushed
2 tbsp mint leaves
2 tbsp thai basil (or fresh basil if Thai is unavailable)
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, thinly sliced (optional)
for the dressing
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp fresh ginger grated
1 tsp brown sugar
salt to taste
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
Mix watermelon, cucumber, onion, and jalapeno in a bowl.
Mix all the dressing ingredients in another bowl.
Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.
Sprinkle roasted peanuts, mint, and basil on top.