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.

qp

arugula, steak & cherry summer salad with balsamic glaze.

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wait! i have another summer recipe before it turns to september. 

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this month has been absolutely crazy for me - so much going on in many ways. i meant to share this summery steak salad with cherry a few weeks ago, but here i am squeaking it out on august 29th. 

hope there are still cherries out there to be devoured!

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i discovered that there is a bit of a formula for salads with fruit that really does it for me. and with this formula, it seems the possibilities are plenty.

when i made this, peter goes, "no cherries, please." lol. but he ended up liking the texture/flavor combo. 

i think its taaaasty when adding a bit of fruit to an otherwise all "savory" salad. and it's subtly sweet & juicy!

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salad with fruit formula:

bitter, firm greens (like tenderized kale, arugula, or spinach)

+ different textured vegetable(s) from the greens (example: avocado [i realize that's technically "fruit" but you get it], tomato, or cucumber = contrasting textural feeling from the greens)

+ protein/oomph factor (whether it's steak, or salami, chicken, quinoa, even garbanzo beans or sweet potato i feel add lots of oomph...)

+ mild, salty, creamy cheese (i use feta or goat cheese on most of my salads)

+ a subtly sweet, juicy fruit (like peaches, cherries, apples, plum, blueberries, raspberries...)

+ something briney, vinegary, with bite (like pickled red onions or shallots, balsamic or red wine vinegar...)

+ something small & crunchy (for me that's usually pepitas, but some salads i put almonds or walnuts on top, depending)

+ [optional] fresh herbs (like fresh basil, fresh mint, or cilantro that adds a boost of extra flavor)

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= well rounded salad combinations!

boring salad lifestyle, be gone.

i noticed a through-line between my peach & prosciutto salad and this steak & cherry salad and had to do further analysis. 

do let me know if you come up with a delicious combo that you can apply this super scientific salad formula to :)

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Arugula, Steak & Cherry Summer Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Serves 2

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium steak (I used a thin tri-tip, but use whatever you prefer)
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • 2-3 cups fresh arugula
  • 1 cup fresh cherries, halved & pitted
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • 2-3 TB balsamic glaze (use about 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar & reduce on the stove)

Instructions-

To reduce balsamic vinegar, heat about 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar to a sauce pan on the stove on medium-high until it begins to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Let it reduce and thicken about 20 minutes, or until the volume has reduced to half. 

Grill the steak on a grill or barbecue, or cook it on the stove. Heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a cast iron pan on medium-high. Sear the steak on each side for about 2-3 minutes, depending how thick it is. Salt, pepper, and sprinkle garlic powder each side. Remove from skillet and let rest on a cutting board for about 5 minutes to allow the juices to rest. 

Halve and remove pits from the cherries.  Slice the avocado.  Add the fresh arugula to a large bowl and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and goat cheese crumbles to coat.

Slice the steak into thin strips and add to the arugula salad. Top with avocado slices, cherries, more goat cheese if desired, and drizzle the balsamic glaze over the top.

Serve immediately!

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happy, happy end of summer.

 

qp