Happy Friday, friends! I hope you all had a great week. If it’s 5 o’clock where you are, congrats! If you’re still a few hours away like we are, you can do it! I’m already thinking about the food and drinks I’ll be making this weekend- the recipe below is a perfect dish to make for family and friends. Let me know if you end up trying it and what you think!
It’s melon season and I cannot get enough of them. Recently, on a lovely date night to 31st Union in San Mateo, I had a melon salad that reminded me all that I love about eating local and in season. Beyond tasting super fresh, it was a perfect balance of sweet, spicy, salty and just plain delicious. And healthy! I ordered it on subsequent visits and finally decided to try my best to replicate it at home. Last weekend, I think I came pretty darn close. I always have about 3 melons of any kind sitting on the counter waiting for the perfect moment to cut open either for this salad, a melon-banana smoothie or just a sprinkling of Tajin or flaky salt.
Speaking of summer fruits (slight tangent)… the only, ONLY downside of beautiful summer fruit sitting on the counter is the invasion of fruit flies. Where do these things come from?! If I don’t take precautionary measures, these little buggers take over my fruit bowls which grosses me out. And even worse, they land in my wine glass, which really grosses me out.
TIP: During the summer months I keep a ramekin with a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a drop of dish detergent sitting IN my fruit bowl basket. They are attracted to the vinegar and the dish soap somehow helps them not be able to get out of the liquid. To finish them off, I cover the little dish with plastic wrap with large holes so once they get in, they cannot get out. Eric calls these guys my customers and I can easily get a few dozen customers within an hour of placing my little contraption in the fruit bowl.
As for the melon salad that will make you a rockstar this weekend, it’s simple and only takes a few ingredients. We enjoyed this salad as a side to Tomato Pie and sautéed Chicken Apple Sausage. A perfect summer meal.
Melon Salad with Feta, Jalapeno and Mint
This delicious summer salad, inspired by 31st Union in San Mateo, hits all the right notes- a great balance of tangy dressing, salty cheese, sweet melon and a kick from the jalapeño. Although this salad serves two people, the recipe makes about a pint jar of vinaigrette- enough for 8 bowls of melon salad. I like to keep a jar in the refrigerator to use all week long for all types of salads- Cobb, kale, or mixed green with grilled chicken.
- 3 cups melon cut into bite-size pieces (canteloupe, honeydew, watermelon)
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 small jalapeño chili, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
- 6 mint leaves, thinly sliced or torn
- Aleppo pepper and Tajin seasoning, to taste
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
Add all ingredients to a jar with a lid and shake until emulsified.
In a medium bowl, gently toss melon with 1-2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Divide melon between two bowls.
Scatter jalapeño, mint and feta evenly over melon.
Drizzle additional dressing to taste. Season with Aleppo pepper and Tajin seasoning.