Our mothers always told us to eat our fruits and vegetables. That's good advice year-round but an especially delicious recommendation during the summer when local farms and orchards harvest the freshest, sweetest produce.
Lately, the sizzling temperatures have stifled any desire to turn on the stove or to even eat hot foods. For a refreshing meal, raid the vegetable bins for greens and fruit. Add canned tuna, cheese or leftover poultry or meat for protein. We like the different textures and colors of this spring mix lettuce blend paired with cubed watermelon and mango, sliced fennel and kalamata olives.
Use this recipe as a starting point. Replace the mango with cantaloupe or blueberries or consider goat cheese or flavored Stilton in place of the gorgonzola. Walnuts or sliced almonds will add crunch.
The lime dressing, seasoned with salt and some fresh mint, is less tart than a classic vinaigrette or fresh lemon and oil dressing. Make a double recipe of the dressing to be prepared for the next salad meal. The dressing will keep several days at room temperature.
WATERMELON SALADWITH LIME-MINT DRESSING
>>2 (5-ounce) packages spring mix lettuce
>>1/4 wedge of a whole watermelon, sliced in 1-inch pieces and cubed
>>2 mangoes, peeled and cubed
>>1 bulb fennel, leaves and stalks discarded, cored and sliced
>>24 kalamata olives
>>8 ounces crumbled gorgonzola
>>Juice and zest of 2 fresh limes
>>3/4 cup olive oil
>>1 teaspoon salt or to taste
>>2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Clean the lettuce mix in cold water, drain and pat dry or spin dry in a salad spinner. Divide the cubed watermelon and mango among six plates, arranging the fruit around the edge of the plate. Divide the salad into six portions and place in the middle of the plate. Top each salad with sliced fennel, 4 olives and a sprinkle of gorgonzola cheese.
To make the dressing: Combine the lime juice and zest, olive oil, salt and mint in a jar with a screw-on cap, seal well and shake until ingredients are blended. Serve with the salad, and let each person dress the salad to taste. Serves 6.