Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Salad Days - Watermelon's Better Than You Thought, Especially With Feta

I remember, back when I was a kid growing up, me and grammy and grampy would sit out on the back porch, grampy having just harvested a big, old 30 pound watermelon. We'd just sit there, them in their rockers, me on the steps, with the sweet juice running down our chins, seeing who could send those pits the farthest, while meanwhile the hogs would gather round, cuz they really loved the rinds and any fruit we might share with 'em.

OK - not really. Grandma and Papa were in a 4th-floor walkup, off Gun Hill Road, in the Bronx. And watermelon was a real treat, if there was any at all (I don't remember any). More likely, it was helzel, or if we were lucky, chicken feet. And Grandma could make a mean potato latke.

And now, it's summer once more, my season of complaining a lot - and cooking as little as possible. So yesterday, when my local grocery store had cut watermelon on sale for a mere 49 cents a pound, I bought a big wedge. Normally, I just bring it home, and keep it in the fridge - it's a good dessert for Sig Eater and me, when we pretend we're trying to be healthy.   

But I wanted to make dinner, and without "cooking," that can be a challenge. Looking around the fridge, in addition to the watermelon, I noticed I had some organic parsley and cucumbers. Some feta. And on the counter some reasonably nice tomatoes. Bingo - salad time...
Watermelon and Feta Salad
Because the watermelon and tomatoes are so nice and juicy, the dressing can be kept to a minimum. A drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and some fine Spanish dry Oloroso vinegar from DespaƱa, and we were good to go. Well, we did need something crunchy...
Za'atar Pita Crisps
So I cut a pita bread in half, cut the halves into triangles, brushed them with that olive oil, sprinkled them with za'atar and salt, and baked them in my toaster oven for about 7 minutes. Not a bad dinner, with (almost) no cooking.

Watermelon, Feta, Tomato, Cucumber and Parsley Salad 

All the above ingredients, salt and pepper, olive oil and vinegar.

Make a salad out of them.

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