"I remember when August was when you got the best, sweetest watermelon." Thatboy told me as he grabbed a piece from the fridge last week. His remark was a commentary on the fact that watermelon has been pretty lackluster this year. We've tried it from all different sources, including going to pick our own.
Those watermelon pictured above had all the hallmarks of a "good" watermelon. Hollow sounding, a creamy yellow patch...but cut them open and they were white. Not because they were some weird white varietal, but because they were just not ripe.
But we've also bought watermelon that when cut into, raised our hopes. Gloriously pink, as though they had been photographed for the very definition of summer melon. And they were completely lacking in flavor.
It wasn't just us who couldn't seem to get a handle on watermelon this summer. On our way home from camping we stopped at restaurant for lunch where Thatboy was drawn in to the watermelon and beet salad. And the watermelon was just as flavorless as those we had been finding all summer. That salad had other flaws as well. With gorgonzola and a balsamic reduction there were too many competing flavors. Especially given that those flavors were each really heavy. It was not the watermelon salad I would have made. It was not the watermelon salad I have made.
Typically my watermelon salads are low on ingredients. Watermelon, mint, and feta. Skip the balsamic and do a basic dressing with lime and olive oil. Light and fresh.
This watermelon salad is slightly more complicated, but only slightly. I love beets as much as the next girl, but their earthiness doesn't match the lightness of watermelon. Peaches and tomatoes are a much more complementary addition. The salty feta gets replaced with a more mild goat cheese. And instead of just lime and oil, this dressing is almost mojito like with its honey and rum! Which is perfect for those less than sweet watermelons.
Heirloom Tomato, Watermelon, and Peach Salad (From Cooking Light)
juice of 2 limes
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp white rum
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cups cubed, seedless watermelon
1 1/2 cups sliced peaches
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
1/4 cup torn mint leaves
2 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil
1 lb heirloom beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
- Whisk lime juice, olive oil, honey, rum, salt, and cayenne in a large bowl.
- Add watermelon, peaches, onion, mint, basil, and tomatoes and toss gently. Refrigerate 2 hours.
- Sprinkle with goat cheese and serve.