Breathe it in . . . those last days of summer! Pretty soon backyard barbeques, picnics at the park, and lazing around the pool will be replaced with the organized chaos of packing lunches, checking homework, and laying out school clothes. It also means planning that weekly menu of grab and go breakfasts and quick and easy dinners. As a working mom, I do my best to plan my menus and recipes around the Sunday grocery sales papers. This way I know whatever I decide to make for dinner is on sale and more than likely in season-which is why it’s on sale in the first place. Although it’s the end of summer break, it’s not the end of summer’s growing season. We still have peaches, tomatoes, melons, greens and acres of other wonderful produce growing fresh here in Georgia.
So if you’re looking to hold on to those dog days of summer a little while longer, try this cool refreshing Watermelon Salad. This recipe celebrates summer with juicy sweet watermelon, crisp arugula, and a quick and easy vinaigrette.
Watermelon Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Yields 6 servings
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
6 cups seeded watermelon cubes, about 1- inch in size
1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves
1/2 cup scallions, sliced
6 cups arugula greens
3 shallots, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons grained Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey, or to taste ( I like Shamrock Apiaries Honey from Macon, GA)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup Georgia Olive Farm’s extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- In a small bowl, combine the shallots, garlic, mustard, honey and vinegar.
- Whisk in the oil by slowly pouring it into the bowl in a steady stream. The vinaigrette should be thick. If oil has settled on the top-continue to whisk until well combined.
- Adjust with salt and pepper to taste and additional honey if too tart. Set aside
- In a small dry sauté pan, toast the sesame seeds until they are a golden brown. Remove from heat and reserve for later.
- In a large bowl, toss half of the sesame seeds, the watermelon, parsley and scallions with the vinaigrette.
- Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and spoon the watermelon salad on top, pouring any remaining vinaigrette over the salad.
- Sprinkle with the reserved sesame seeds and serve immediately.
Adapted from Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent by Jennifer Hill Booker, © 2014 Jennifer Hill Booker, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.
Jennifer is Georgia’s official Culinary Explorer and the author of “Your Resident Gourmet,” full of innovative recipes, cooking trends and fun kitchen gadgets. Click here for more content from Jennifer.