“Watermelon Cucumber Salad”

IMG_1399We are truly in the midst of “dog days of summer” here in the drought-stricken California foothills.  All this week the temperatures have been 100 degrees plus and smoke from several nearby forest fires makes the air thick, orange and awful to breathe.  I am ready for El Nino!  Until then, all I want to eat on these hot, dry smokey days is something refreshing and juicy that involves no turning on a stove.  Since I have an abundance of cucumbers, a nice refreshing salad came to mind.  Watermelon Cucumber Salad is a summer favorite and so easy.  I experimented with my usual recipe (that includes lime juice and a bit of olive oil and no greens).  I added some fresh argula and the spiciness was perfect with the sweet melons and cukes. Instead of lime juice, I added some lavender balsamic vinegar I had just purchased and left out the olive oil. This salad is addictively delicious, especially on a hot summer day!  Do not leave out the feta cheese… it makes this salad. Here is my new favorite recipe:

 

 FAVORITE WATERMELON CUCUMBER SALAD

4 cups cubed watermelon (1/2 inch)

3 cups cubed (1/2 inch)

¼  to ½ cup thinly sliced sweet red onion

1 cup chopped fresh arugula (could sub watercress or mizuna – must be a spicy green!)

½ – ¾ cup feta cheese crumbled (or a small carton)

1 TBSP flavored balsamic vinegar (try lavender, blackberry or pear) – or just plain balsamic vinegar

Gently mix all ingredients in large bowl and chill for a few hours before serving

SERVES  4  (or 2 if it is the main course!)

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