One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.- Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
How quickly summer goes. We are back from our little getaway to Whidbey and Lummi Island. We spent a few glorious days beach combing, exploring, relaxing with our dog Maxx and basically cooling off! A reader, Randy, who lives on Whidbey Island gave us tips on where to go and what to do — and it was perfect, just what we needed. Thanks Randy, your island is stunning and beautiful! Then on our last night we headed over to Lummi Island for a very special meal at The Willow’s Inn, with a 20 course (!) tasting menu, all little plates, made with locally grown and foraged ingredients. It was such a moving, soulful experience. Simple clean flavors, artfully presented -I shared a few photos of the trip on instagram.
Back home now, the temperatures are soaring into the 100’s again. This Moroccan Watermelon Cucumber Salad is a way to cool off on these hot summer days. Cold crisp watermelon is cubed along with Turkish cucumbers – then it’s given a little Moroccan twist. Tossed with red onion, toasted pistachios, parsley, mint and a light vinaigrette, it’s sprinkled with a pinch of ground clove and optional feta crumbles. Quick and simple to make, it is light and refreshing summer salad.
Once, when I was young and my mother was away one whole summer visiting her people in Finland, my frugal dad, sliced open an enormous watermelon right down the middle and handed me half, along with a spoon and declared that was our dinner. So there we sat outside on the patio, each with our giant half watermelon eating it right out of the rind, playing Chinese Checkers until the sun eventually sunk down into the hills and our bellies were full. We lived in LA, and it had been sweltering hot for days on end, and at that time we had no air conditioner. The delicious, cold, crisp watermelon seemed like an oasis in the dessert- so cooling and refreshing. To this day, I have never forgotten it.
I really love the addition of parsley and onion in this salad.
Also, to me, watermelon must be served ice-cold. When making this, either refrigerate the watermelon beforehand, or leave time before serving the salad to have it in the fridge until it’s thoroughly chilled.
And though this salad is best served the on day it is made, it does seem to keep pretty well for a couple of days, so be sure to save the leftovers.
The feta is optional. I like it both ways…with and with out. See what you think, and remember if leaving the feta off, you may need to add a little more salt.
The pistachios are a nice addition, giving it great texture. Make sure they are roasted or toasted, otherwise they may get soggy in the salad.
Hope you enjoy it and have a great weekend!
- 4-5 Cups watermelon cut into ¾-1 inch cubes
- 4 turkish cucumbers ( or one English) cut into ¾ inch cubes
- ¼ Cup thinly sliced red onion
- ½ Cup chopped mint
- ½ Cup chopped Italian parsley
- ¼-½ Cup crumbled feta cheese ( optional)
- ¼ C toasted pistachios
- ¼ C olive oil
- ⅛ C red wine or white balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp salt, more to taste
- cracked pepper
- a pinch ground clove
- Place watermelon, cucumber and onion in a large bowl. Add herbs, feta and pistachios.
- Gently mix.
- Add olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix to incorporate.