Summertime is upon us. My grandpa's patio is gleaming bright with all kinds of greenery. Chirping from the birds, the sweet "hello's" I hear from Lola our Cockatoo, and the sounds of the peaceful waterfall remind me that I am blessed to be spending my summer months here with my wonderful grandpa.
I've had salads on my mind for days, and began scribbling down combinations of ingredients whenever they had come to mind. Maybe it's the warmth, or maybe it's just my lack of consuming enough healthful foods lately, but I've been craving all things fresh and grown from nurturing soil.
I've recently become aware that my small hometown finally curated a farmer's market. It's about damn time, Spring Hill. I paid a visit a couple of weekends ago on my way to go thrift shopping, and although it didn't compare to other farmer's markets, I'm still proud. It's a start, albeit a small one. It seems that this town may slowly be learning the importance and appreciation for food grown with love. I was disappointed, however, that I couldn't find my arms full of rhubarb like I had hoped. It's been on my mind, too. 'Tis the season!
I don't know what influenced me to come up with this salad. To be honest, I think I was craving watermelon as I was grocery shopping one day, and it all flowed from there. I tested out the recipe a couple of weeks ago, with the intentions that I'd have it up on the blog days later. When will I come to the realization that as long as I'm enrolled in some form of a physics class, all things blog/food/photography related will never go as planned? Sigh.
The good news is, my professor is pretty freaking awesome, and this salad is insanely delicious & simple. Two things to keep me happy for at least a little while. And hopefully you, too. (The salad part, I mean.)
Utterly refreshing and juicy, I found myself eating almost both servings after I finished shooting today. And I wasn't even that hungry because I had already been snacking on the melon throughout the day. That's kind of saying something. I say "kind of" because I've known myself to eat purely for taste rather than for hunger on multiple occasions. And I know I'm not alone on that!
Melon & Avocado Salad with Lemon Basil Olive Oil Dressing
makes 1 serving
Be sure your watermelon and cantaloupe are nice and ripe. I find that both melons taste best when they are bought whole, left to ripen, then cut and stored in air-tight containers in the fridge. Buying them already pre-cut in the container may be easier, but in my opinion it is definitely not as good!
1 to 1 1/2 cups of baby spinach
1/2 cup watermelon, cut into chunks
1/2 cup cantaloupe, also cut into chunks
1/2 an avocado*
roasted sunflower seeds (sprinkle on as much as you'd like)
*The first time I made this salad, I used the entire avocado. Today I only used half and I think it fit better. Feel free to do either or, though.
makes ~1/4 cup
the juice from 1 large lemon
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped or chiffonade
pinch of sea salt
pinch of black pepper
Cut the watermelon, cantaloupe, and avocado. In a small bowl, squeeze the lemon juice and add the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Whisk until immersed. Stir in the basil (or you could sprinkle over the salad, either works). Combine the spinach, melon, and avocado, sprinkle with sunflower seeds, and finally dress.
Enjoy time and time again on these hot summer days, xx.