This is the most refreshing summer salad. I will not take any other nominations.
The inspiration for this salad came to me partly due to the abundance of fresh mint in my garden, and partly because it’s so hot in St. Louis. July is known for being hot and humid here, and yesterday was no exception. I went on a walk in the morning and I came back dripping. I didn’t want anything heavy for lunch, so I decided to make this watermelon, cucumber, and mint salad.
As with all things salad, it helps to use the freshest ingredients possible. For this salad, I used some local cucumber from the farmers’ market, mint from my backyard, fresh watermelon, and some really good cheese.
I also sprinkled on some sumac, which I think gives the whole thing a kick. In case you’re not familiar with sumac, it’s a reddish-colored spice used often in Middle Eastern cooking. A friend gave me a bunch of spices as a gift a couple years ago and I’m still using the sumac. It’s great to sprinkle on salads or yogurt dishes.
I think mint really makes this salad, so don’t be tempted to sub it with basil or another herb. However, you could get creative with the fruit you use. I bet cantaloupe would also work well, or even tomatoes.
Here’s a song to get you started on your watermelon salad journey. Have I mentioned how much I like the new Ellie Goulding album?
Watermelon, Cucumber, and Mint Salad
half of one small watermelon, cut up into cubes
half of one medium-sized cucumber, sliced and halved
1/2 cup of fresh mint
drizzle of avocado oil
sprinkle of sumac
sprinkle of flaky sea salt
crumbled ricotta salata for serving
Combine all the ingredients through the mint in a large bowl. Drizzle with avocado oil and sprinkle with sumac and flaky sea salt. Finish with crumbled ricotta salata. Enjoy right away.