I returned from this mornings farmer's market visit and subsequent hunting and gathering expedition flush with ideas.
My basket was filled with some gorgeous corn for tonight that just might have a meeting with a compound butter and the grill.
There were freshly dug yukon gold potatoes with still wet and scrubbed skins. They will be having a meeting with the chive I picked up at the Asian vegetables stand. My chive plants have been taking quite a beating lately with me shearing them off at least once a week so I thought I might give them a litle break for a bit.
There is a gorgeous, freshly dug bunch of red onions and some pea tendrils that will have a meeting with some sesame oil, garlic and ginger later.
But right now I needed something for lunch and the watermelon in the fridge upstairs was calling my name.
Sadly I am the only one in the house who enjoys watermelon and I refuse to buy the already cut ones that are wrapped in sticky plastic and are already dry and mealy. So Friday I bit the bullet and bought the smallest round one I could find in the market and popped it in the fridge to get nice and cold, just how I like it.
I sliced the melon in half and took out chunks of it to fill a container for snacking later. Then I took a bowl and filled it with the remainder of the half to make a salad. Now I still had half a melon left and needed to do something with it before all the juice ran on to my board. I remembered last week at work Betsy made an Italian watermelon pudding with the 11 - 13 year olds. It was an interesting idea that tasted a bit too much like cornstarch for me, but I loved the idea of pureeing the watermelon and straining the juice. I did exactly that with half of the melon and tonight there will be either a watermelon martini or a watermelon and campari G&T. Alcohol and watermelon, really it doesn't get any better on a hot summer afternoon.
Now on to my salad.
I took chunks of fresh watermelon and sprinkled on some sea salt, Himalayan pink of course for the colour continuity and my own amusement. Then I tore up some of the Thai basil I bought at the farmer's market and sprinkled it over the melon and I broke off some chunks of my favourite Valbreso feta. I squeezed on some lime juice for tartness as I can't shake my recent fetish for the Thai flavour combo of hot, sour, sweet and salty. Remind me to tell you about my Thai beef salad, I gave that all a quick stir and while it macerated I took a slice of Iggy's Francese and toasted it and then rubbed it with a half a clove of garlic and drizzled on olive oil.
That salad was summer on a plate, sweet watermelon enhanced by the sea salt and the creamy, salty feta met with pungent crisp basil flavour and a bright lime finish. This is one salad that will be getting a few repeats in this house.