My name is Katie Neumann and I am a garden-to-table enthusiast living in northern California with my wonderful husband and our two young boys. If I have a free moment you can almost always find me digging out in the garden or stirring up something in the kitchen. I founded Deeply Rooted Kitchen out of my passionate belief that every great meal is rooted in the garden. Becoming more connected to where your food comes from (even growing it yourself!) and cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients will not only improve your health but will naturally elevate the quality of your meals as well.
The long, warm summer days breathe such color and diversity into the garden that harvest baskets are deliciously overflowing with loads of seasonal goodies. Even if you don’t garden yourself, farmers markets and local markets are abounding with seasonal produce ripe and ready for your culinary delight. The closer you get to when and where your food is harvested, the more flavorful your food will be and the less work you’ll have to do in the kitchen preparing it.
When you start a recipe out with fresh, local, seasonal ingredients the food practically does the work in the kitchen for you! The recipe I have for you today features watermelon, cucumbers, onions and mint- all goodies that are abounding in the garden this time of year! This recipe is very simple to prepare and serves as a delicious side dish (or main dish!) for those days when you don’t want to turn on the stove. It is crisp, refreshing and is served best on a warm summer night outside alongside those you love most.
Watermelon Cucumber Salad with Feta
3C cubed, seedless watermelon
1½C diced cucumber
½C diced red onion
2TB finely chopped mint
2TB extra virgin olive oil
2TB freshly squeezed lime juice
¼tsp sea salt
1/8tsp ground black pepper
½C crumbled feta cheese
Cube up 3 cups of fresh, seedless watermelon and place in a large bowl. Next, dice up 1½C cucumber and add to the bowl. I prefer using an English, Persian or Japanese Long cucumber- the kind of cucumber that is seedless and doesn’t need peeling.
In a separate bowl, mix together ½C diced red onion, 2TB finely chopped mint, 2TB extra virgin olive oil, 2TB freshly squeezed lime juice, ¼tsp sea salt, 1/8tsp ground black pepper.
Mint is a prolific herb that grows as a perennial in many places around the country. If you want to add mint to your herb garden, I recommend planting it in it’s own container because it can take over! There are many different kinds of mint you can grow- I have a strawberry mint that I like to use in this dish.
Here is a little pro tip for you: if you don’t like the taste of raw onion, add your diced onion to the rest of the dressing ingredients (mint, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper) and allow the onion to pickle for a few hours before adding it to the watermelon, cucumber and feta. If I’m making this salad for dinner, I dice the onion first thing in the morning, add it to the dressing in a shallow bowl and stick it in the fridge for the day. This takes out that raw oniony bite and softens the texture of the onions.
Just before serving, gently fold in the crumbled feta cheese and serve right away!