Awesomely Simple Summer Salad

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Spring has sprung and my thoughts turn to easy summer food. Minnesota winters are so depressingly long and brutal, that when the trees bloom, the sun shines and the grass greens, all I want to do is enjoy the outdoors. That means meals that are quick, easy and yet tasty. And since this is the state of bi-polar weather, I look for dishes that are light and refreshing to weather thru the blast furnace of our summers. (Where else can it be -20 degrees in January and just six months later be 90+ degrees in July? I rest my case, Bi-polar.)

I stumbled upon this years ago and it is now a summertime favorite ‘go-to’ salad for me. The combination may see odd, but trust me, the flavors merry perfectly together and as long as your watermelon is ripe and flavorful, this will not disappoint. It takes advantage of summertime produce, and it’s beautiful to boot.

In fairly equal proportions:

Watermelon – cubed
Cucumber – seeded, peeled and cubed
Jicama – peeled and cubed

Rough chop equal parts of:
Basil
Mint
Cilantro

Then generously squeeze fresh lime juice over the top and mix well. .

I am not including measurements because you can make as much or as little as you want. As you can see in my photo, I like mine full of herbs. But you can use less if you want. This is the beauty of this salad. Its so customizable. Make as much, or as little as you like. This salad travels perfectly in a cooler for a picnic or poolside, and is beautiful on a buffet table. Try it and leave me your feedback!


Oh Mahi Mahi this was GOOD!

Oh Mahi Mahi this was GOOD!

I was already missing the tropical breezes, roaring ocean and balmy breezes a week after returning from our island visit. So to appease my yearning for anything to (as the Calgon commercials go) ‘take me away’, I pulled some Mahi Mahi out of the freezer and set to work creating something for dinner.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I have a well stocked fridge and pantry. I just love to cook and I love to cook spontaneously. I hate having my creativity limited by having nothing on hand. So, I keep a well stocked pantry, fridge and freezer.

This entire meal was ‘created’ using my Flavor Bible as a food/spice pairing guide, creative juices and what I had on hand. This is a ‘one pan’ meal, all cooked in stages in my trusty cast iron skillet.

First to be cooked were the potato medallions. I had duck fat in my fridge, and there is nothing better than potatoes cooked in duck fat! Seasoning them with salt and pepper, I let them cook until well browned and tender. On an oven safe plate they went in to a 200 deg oven to keep warm. I left the pan with that lovely seasoning and next;

I bloomed some Alleppo Pepper in the pan, adding a little olive oil, and a lot of garlic. I ‘shaved’ the brussels sprouts while the potatoes were cooking and sauteed them in the pan. When tender but still crisp, into an oven safe container and put in the oven. I wiped the pan clean with a paper towel.

Next came the fish, seasoned with salt and pepper, then pan fried with extra virgin olive oil.

While the potatoes and sprouts were cooking, I mixed up a simple salad in a bowl. Sliced radishes, cucumber and red bell pepper. I made a simple dressing of white wine vinegar, grapeseed oil (very healthy for you), a pinch of sugar, good healthy splash of Yuzu, salt, pepper and a handful of chopped cilantro.
Also while the fish was cooking I made a pistou of cilantro, salt, garlic and EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil). Simply chop the cilantro and garlic fine on a cutting board, add some kosher salt and with the flat side of your knife mash and combine by ‘smearing’ it on the board. Add to a bowl and add enough oil to make it look like the photo. It’s really a ‘to taste’ type of condiment.

The end result was heaven on a plate. And yes, for a brief moment, if I closed my eyes I could pretend I was back there in paradise.