My neighbor has a great garden, and she’s always dropping things by: sometimes it’s fresh basil (pesto, anyone?), sometimes its eggs from her chicken coop (she’s got one of those, too!) and yesterday it was cucumbers. I spent a bit of time pondering what to make with them, and eventually decided to try and eek out a summer dish while it’s still technically summer. I came up with this super simple, refreshing salad, which has a nice, tangy feta-basil dressing and a crunchy-walnut-garnish situation. It’s perfect on it’s own as a lite meal or summer snack, but it’d be really great as a dish to bring to something like a pot-luck or picnic because it only gets better the longer it sits. Here’s how I made it.
2 whole cucumbers
2.5 cups (2 10 oz. store-bought containers) watermelon, in chunks
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup + 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 large leaves basil, chopped
1/4 cup reduced fat feta cheese
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Handful fresh mint leaves, chopped
Handful chopped walnuts
Salt and pepper, to taste
Spiralize the cucumber into wide, long slices. If you don’t have a spiralizer, use a vegetable peeler/slicer or a mandolin, just make sure you get nice, thin slices (thick slices wouldn’t work well here because of the cuc’s high water content). Place the cucumber and the chunks of watermelon on a serving platter.
◊ At this point, I also cracked a bit of fresh black pepper over the top of the cucumber and watermelon to ensure that the salad had plenty of flavor.
Make the dressing by combining the olive oil, red wine vinegar, feta, basil, dijon and salt and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the cucumber and watermelon. Garnish with fresh mint, walnuts and fresh-cracked black pepper, if desired.
Yield: 1 large platter of salad, enough to serve 4 people
Serving Size: 1/4 salad
Calories: Approx. 215 calories per serving
Dietary Info: Vegetarian. Gluten-Free.