Happy long holiday weekend to my U.S. folks (and Canadians too, eh?). I thought I would pop in for a short post this week to share a colorful and fun watermelon salad I made recently for any of you looking for another (easy) side dish to prepare for your holiday barbecues tomorrow. I was wary of the spicy watermelon combo, but am now sold and cannot imagine enjoying watermelon without a kick this summer. The flavor seems to completely change, and it’s sweet, watery nature is like a refreshing sip after a bite of something spicy. It made sense to use a sweet vegetable, such as grilled corn, to pair with the watermelon along with crisp and crunchy jicama sticks. This was my first time attempting to peal and slice a jicama myself, it’s thick skin always turned me away in the past. The reality? So much less intense and simpler than I had imagined. I see many more sliced jicama in my future this summer. It’s like a savory apple, and a salad’s (or slaw’s) best friend. I also spotted somewhere recently that you can bake jicama sticks into fries, that is so happening.
I topped this salad with a fresh mozzarella ball that had been soaked in brine from Julie’s new book, This Cheese is Nuts. It’s creaminess was totally perfect to cool down the kick from the serrano pepper. I link to her book on Amazon below which previews the entire recipe for any of you interested in making them as well! An almond feta would be great sprinkled on top of this salad too. Laura posted a killer looking one on her site last summer, pop over to it here if you’d like to check it out. The honey and lime dressing below was just begging for watermelon the second I made it – I’ve kind of been squeezing lime juice on everything lately. Adding the fresh cilantro almost made this feel like a salsa, and I wouldn’t think less of you one bit for scooping this salad with salty corn chips this summer too.
Now to spread some love and fun, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve been getting jazzed about lately! Let’s start with music – if you haven’t been giving The Technicolors a listen I think you definitely should start this summer. They channel all of the good Arizona music vibes I grew up with (Hello Jimmy Eat World, The Format, Fun, and Austin Gibbs). As for girl crushes, I’m having a major one on Ella from Deliciously Ella right now, and I know I am totally late to the game on this (you all probably know her). Her YouTube channel is so dang cute, raw, real, and fun. I love her approach to food, she doesn’t get fussy – just good things thrown together that taste amazing. Every time I watch one of her videos I end up feeling more relaxed and excited for the next thing I make in the kitchen. Side note: it’s on my 2017 agenda to start a YouTube channel by the end of the year. I’m terrified, excited, hopeful, and doubtful all at the same time. What do you guys think of the idea?
I said this post was going to be short but I got yapping! Have a wonderful holiday week to those celebrating. Scott and I will be riding our bikes around the neighborhoods where people tend to take their life into their own hands with the amounts (and types) of fireworks they set off. Finger’s crossed I don’t have to ditch my bike in the middle of the street and hide behind a car from a bucket of misfiring sparkler-missiles this year (you only live once right? I guess you only die once too, whoops!). Happy happy week friends, see you back here soon. – xx
SPICY WATERMELON & JICAMA SALAD
Serves 3 to 4 as a side.
3 cups of watermelon, small dice
1 cup of sliced jicama sticks
1 ear of corn
a handful of cilantro
1 serrano pepper
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon quality olive oil
1/4 teaspoon raw honey
few pinches of salt
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
optional: nut based fresh mozzarella, or feta, to serve
Dice the watermelon into 1 inch cubes and place in a colander over a bowl to collect the juice. Save the juice to drink, or to keep in a jar in the fridge to add to smoothies.
While the watermelon is draining, slice the skin off of the jicama using a sharp knife. Peel off any brown spots until completely white and smooth. Slice into disks, then into half disks, and then into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick sticks. Measure out a heaping cup for the salad into a large mixing bowl, and store the leftover jicama sticks in an airtight glass jar in the fridge, covered in water (will keep for a week).
Shuck the ear of corn and grill until bubbly and golden, or under the broiler in your oven, rotating every few minutes. Slice the kernels off of the cob and add to the large mixing bowl with the jicama.
In a small mason jar, add the lime juice, olive oil, honey, salt, and minced garlic. Trim the serrano pepper and de-seed. Finely dice the pepper and add it to the jar. Seal with a lid and shake vigorously until creamy and fully mixed. Set aside.
Toss the watermelon cubes with the jicama and corn in the mixing bowl. Add the dressing and toss. Transfer to a serving plate/bowl and top with thinly sliced shallot and a handful of torn cilantro leaves. Enjoy right away.
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