Minty Watermelon Salad

It’s Senior year of high school. You are the most important person in the world, which without a doubt, revolves around you. You only think this because you are too apathetic to pay attention in the science class you have attempted feebly to attend. You want nothing more than to escape the purgatory of high school because clearly, you are mature enough to handle anything life may throw at you. You are a victim of the terrible affliction known as Senioritis. No one can stop you. No one. Or so I thought.

Freshman year was a major reality check. I realized that I’m not perfect, I can’t handle everything, and I should really read the washing instructions before I buy a garment of clothing. After all, my budget doesn’t quite account for consistent dry cleaning runs.

Last year, I was a senior in high school, and boy was it glorious. I couldn’t be stopped. I showed every symptom of Senioritis. I road tripped, slept in lieu of first period, SparkNote’d like it was my job…you know, the normal stuff. I was perfect. And so were my friends. But my ladies and I took things to the extreme. Seniors think they’re all grown up, and we didn’t let one grown up thing get past us (except for paying bills, having kids, working, and all the other not fun stuff). What did we do? Dinner parties. We’d all gather at one house – usually mine – and each of us would bring our own homemade dish.

One summer evening, long after graduation, as our departure from each other was becoming increasingly imminent, it was time for our last potluck. I made the famous Turkey Burgers (see below), Syd brought the brownies…the usual shtick. But this time Nora came over with something different. Usually taking on the salad or the fruit, she didn’t diverge too dramatically from the norm. What she brought over though, was entirely unique and something I had never heard of before. It was the perfect addition to our summertime meal and refreshed each of us through our first, second, third, and fourth servings until we were all fighting for the last chunk of juicy watermelon. Nora's watermelon salad was, without a doubt, the winner of the night.

Overwhelmingly excited about all things summer, I’ve desperately been trying to turn the clock forward to June 21st, the official start of the season. Even though I can’t make the sun hotter and I can’t make my gals come home sooner, I can pretend that everything is right in the world (which I’ve come to notice, does not in fact, revolve around me). What better way to do this than with food? I never acquired Nora's recipe so I had to improvise a bit, but the result was fabulous, and I think you’ll agree.

This recipe allows watermelon to nix its role as a summertime dessert and re-establish itself as a palate cleansing side dish. The steps are fairly straightforward as it’s the combination of ingredients that matters most. Without further ado, here’s how its done.

·      ½ Watermelon
·      Fresh Mint
·      ½ - ¾ Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
·      1 Lime

Grab a big ol’ knife and chop your half watermelon into a bunch of 1 inch by 1 inch cubes. It’s absolutely vital that your pieces be flawlessly proportioned or else the flavor will lose its punch and the fruit will turn brown and explode in mere moments. Oh wait, that’s the residual “I’m perfect” symptom of Senioritis kicking in. I kid. Estimate – as I learned this year in Statistics.

Rinse your fresh mint leaves…

And chop them up finely. Next, add the mint and watermelon to a bowl.

Feta cheese and I are generally not on good terms. Yeah, I’m that elementary school bully who takes out my frustration on the little guy because I can. After some intensive anger management classes, I’ve learned how to handle the problem. I order it out of my meals and make it known that it is unwelcome in the refrigerator. I’ve made major progress, and am slowly starting to integrate it into my diet, starting here.

Add the cheese to the bowl. For some, I understand, Feta is a delicacy. If this describes you, pile it on! I, on the other hand, prefer to be a minimalist, sticking with the ½ cup proportion.

Cut a lime in half and squeeze it into the bowl.

Last but not least, use your hands or salad mixers to toss everything together until it’s well mixed and there isn’t too much lime juice puddling at the bowl’s bottom.

Dig in!