Rabu, 15 Agustus 2012

Melon, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Since it is so hot here in Chicago, we have been eating a lot of salads, cold soups and smoothies. I saw this  recipe in the New York Times and thought it was perfect for the current weather.  Although it might seem unusual to combine melons and cucumbers, they go very well together as this salad proves. To make it more filling, I added some Israelian couscous and we had a very light and refreshing dinner.

Melon, Cucumber and Tomato Salad
(adapted from Martha Shulman)
6 servings

1 European cucumber, peeled if desired and cut in medium dice
Salt to taste
1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded if desired, cut in thin wedges or diced
1 small ripe honeydew melon or cantaloupe, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice or shaped into melon balls
2 to 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon mild honey, like clover, or agave nectar
4 tablespoons grapeseed oil, rice bran oil or canola oil
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped chives

3/4 - 1 cup Israelian Couscous or other grain (optional)
Fresh watercress for garnish (optional)

1. Prepare the couscous according to the packaging directions. Let cool. 
Put the cucumbers in a colander set in the sink or a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and let drain for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients.
2. Toss the cucumbers, tomatoes and melon together in a bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, salt to taste, lime juice, honey and oil and toss with the fruit and vegetable mixture. Add the couscous and mix. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
3. Just before serving, toss with the herbs. Line plates with watercress if desired. Taste the salad, adjust the seasonings and serve over the watercress.
Advance preparation: You can make this through Step 2 several hours ahead. Because of the salt, the vegetables and fruit will give off a lot of water, so if you don’t want the salad to be too juicy, salt shortly before serving.
If you are using the couscous, you might have to make more of the dressing. Let your taste buds decide.  

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