salted watermelon, avocado & mint salad.

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super fresh summer salad, comin’ atcha.

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this is a riff on a watermelon & mint salad i had a couple summers ago…

ohh emm geee, it is so. good. so much flavor and way way way fresh.

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i added avocado for texture & creaminess, lime and black pepper and sooo much mint to this version.

i made this salad last week and brought it on our friend’s boat that afternoon thinking i needed to try and use it the same day, but that it would get soggy and nobody would want any…

but it actually stayed crisp & fresh and was gobbled right up.

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i have a video of our friend’s sister giving the watermelon salad a real-time review on the boat which i’ll just let serve as the blog post for this recipe, because she really says it all!

here’s her direct quote that sounds like actual poetry now that i’m listening & reading it back 😂.

“the lightness.

the burst.

it feels like sunshine coming from your core, spreading outside.

the balance of sweet and salt, and just light with the mint just coooating over - just bruuushing over.

the mint!

beautiful.”

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me: “it’s the mint, right?!”

salad poet: “it’s the mint…. it’s the mint.

because the honeydew meets the watermelon…..”

me: “i hate honeydew!”

salad poet: “i don’t like either of them. but the marriage of those two together, with the mint - it’s a beautiful balance.

beautiful. it’s actually perfect.”

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me: “how do you feel about the avocado?”

salad poet: “if you’re looking for some zesty flavor - it’s going to balance it out with a bit of - i don’t know, it’s like it’s comforting you - it’s giving you a big hug. the watermelon hugs all that flavor together…

and the avocado….. it’s bliss!

…and the mint.

avocado, watermelon, honeydew, mint…..”

me: “we hate half of those things, but we love them together.”

salad poet: “it’s true.”

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she didn’t mention the pickled red onions in the real-time review, but those are a key player in this flavor explosion. do yerself a favor and just start making pickled red onions every week and keep them in a jar in the fridge.

this salad is sooooo delicious and fresh and perfect for summer. i want to eat it every day.

in fact, i am sooo into the mint in this salad that i’ve been putting mint on all the things. i often cut up cherry tomatoes & cucumbers for a snack and just toss with salt & pepp and some feta - now i add mint, and yum! it’s just so light & lovely and adds a great layer of fun flava.

i want to make lots of summery salads using fruit and herbs now. i feel like just by having summer fruit around and a handful of extra ingredients ready to go, you can have a lot of combinations of the most refreshing, crisp, light, cooling, flavorful summer salads.

this cucumber, peach & prosciutto salad from last summer is also a winner, and has a wee bit of added protein, too!

and of course, my bff, mint.

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Salted Watermelon, Avocado & Mint Salad

Serves 2-4

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a watermelon, the firmest parts cubed

  • 1/2 a honeydew melon, cubed

  • 1 medium avocado, firm - not too ripe - sliced

  • 1/2 cup pickled red onion slivers

  • 1/4 cup feta crumbles

  • juice of 1 lime

  • lots of fresh mint, torn or chopped

  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tsp. flaky sea salt, like Maldon

Instructions -

Cube the firmest parts of the watermelon, discarding any mealy or super seeded parts. Cube the honeydew melon. Chill the melon cubes in the fridge and prep the other ingredients.

Gently toss all ingredients together with the chilled melon. Top with extra lime juice, flaky sea salt and fresh mint. Serve immediately or same-day.

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lamb, pesto, burrata & mint pizza.

URGENT:

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i've been yim yum yammering about this pizza for weeks now. IT IS SO WILDLY DELICIOUS.

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the flavors are totally insane and perfectly spring!!!!

we made this thang 3 times within a week and then spiraled off and continued a binge of various pizzas for dayyyyys. sometimes that just happens somehow....you realize you've eaten pizza every day for like 7 days straight and you're like...how did i get here? cool. but yikes. 

(so in other words, this week has been salad central.)

but i'm not kidding this pizza recipe is REAL GOOD and i'm REAL PROUD of it.

we've been making our homemade pizzas with a pizza stone which i really believe is a game-changer for the crust. BUT it's been terrifying and high stress times when it comes to shimmying the pizza dough off the parchment paper and onto the fiery hot stone in the oven. so we got real serious about it and bought a pizza peel and now we're selling pizzas out of our back door. 

(nahhh... but WE SHOULD BE...)

so first ya got a very simple and easy dough (bread flour makes it much betta than all-purpose in my opinion), a mint-pesto hybrid, peppery crumbly lamb, fresh creamy burrata cheese, zippy red onion slivers, topped with fresh goat cheese, tons of fresh mint leaves, and some red chili flakes. 

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shoutout costco who sells the most amazing pesto! last summer, we took this VERY good chewy baguette, sliced in half with olive oil drizzled, threw it on the grill til golden and slathered it in costco pesto and holy moses that was one of the best things i've ever eaten.

you can also make it from scratch, if you like.

but the point is that you add extra fresh mint to the pesto and pulse it together! for that extra layer of mint flavorrrrr. actually i hope you're not freaked out by the mint on this 'zaw? its good. so veryyyy goooooood. i told ya we were having a moment with fresh mint lately next to these fab fresh rolls. 

please make this pizza and go nuts over it like we did!

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Lamb, Pesto, Burrata & Mint Pizza

Makes One 12-inch pizza

Active Time: 30 minutes, Total Minimum Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

Pizza Dough: (Adapted from the Half Baked Harvest Cookbook!)

  • 1/2 cup warm water

  • 1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast

  • 1 TB. honey

  • 1 cup bread flour

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • 1 TB. extra virgin olive oil

Mint Pesto:

  • 1/2 cup prepared pesto (store bought or homemade)

  • 1 TB extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 oz. fresh mint (1 package // about 1/3 cup)

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 2 TB fresh lemon juice

Lamb:

  • 1/3 lb. ground lamb

  • 1 TB. extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Toppings:

  • 2-3 fresh burrata balls

  • 1/3 cup red onion slices

  • 1/2 oz. fresh mint (1 package // 1/3 cup)

  • goat cheese crumbles

  • red chili flakes

Instructions-

For the dough, add warm water, honey, and yeast to a medium bowl and whisk. Let sit for about 10 minutes until it gets a bit foamy. Add the bread flour and salt, mix and use your hands to knead the dough together for a few minutes. Add a sprinkle of flour if it's too sticky.

Use the olive oil to grease another large bowl and transfer the dough to this bowl, turning the dough to coat in oil. Cover with a warm damp towel and let rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until about doubled in size. You can make the dough in advance and freeze it in plastic wrap if you need to.

If using a pizza stone, preheat it in the oven as hot as you can while you prepare the pizza, about 500 degrees F. 

After the dough is risen, punch it down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. If you're using a baking sheet and not a pizza stone, you can turn out the dough onto a lightly greased & floured baking sheet. Roll out as thin as you can, about 1/4 inch thick. 

Heat oven to 450 degrees F whether you're using a pizza stone or a baking sheet. If you're using a pizza stone, the oven should be be BLAZING HOT from preheating the stone, so be careful. We even bought a pizza peel for this step. 

For the mint pesto, add all ingredients to a small food processor and pulse until incorporated.

For the lamb, heat the ground lamb in olive oil and minced garlic in a pan over medium heat. Add salt and lots of black pepper to taste, and a dash of red chili flakes. Let it get dark on each side before tossing the meat. I preferred it crumbly and peppery and almost blackened, but cook as you desire. 

Spread the pesto over the dough, about an inch from the edge. Add the crumbled lamb.

If baking on a baking sheet - add the remaining toppings now and bake the pizza in the oven at 450 for about 12-15 minutes until lightly browned on top.

If baking on a pizza stone - CAREFULLY shimmy the pizza dough with pesto & lamb crumbles off the parchment paper and onto the hot pizza stone sprinkled in a bit of corn meal. Bake for 5 minutes to solidify the crust before adding the wet burrata. Open the oven door and pull the rack out just enough so you can break the burrata balls on top and sprinkle on the red onion slices. Bake for 5 more minutes. Carefully remove pizza from oven onto a large cutting board using an oven-safe tool. 

Sprinkle crumbles of goat cheese on top, along with torn fresh mint, and a few dashes of red chili flakes. Slice and serve immediately! Enjoy within 2 days. 

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