I realize that I am a complete and utter minority when I say that summer is not my favourite season.
Now before you go ahead and judge me as some cold-blooded weirdo who likes to lurk in my basement away from the sun, I encourage you to hear me out.
If you’ve ever so much as caught a glimpse of me, you realize that physically, I’m just not built to take the sun: I’m practically translucent.
I’d given up on the concept of tanning long ago – in fact, the only semblance of a darkening in my pigmentation is the result of my innumerable orange freckles, which like to spring forward and form map-like designs over my arms and face as soon as the month of May hits.
So in order to even so much as step outside without burning to a crisp, I need to slather myself in a pint of sunscreen. Which, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing it, makes you feel like a slippery fish-like creature, attracting all sorts of bugs and dust balls that stick to your skin like gruesome little magnets. Not to mention the fact that you look like a sweaty, greasy mess to those around you, no matter how much deodorant you insist you’re wearing.
Then there’s the whole concept of doing stuff. I am, by nature, a bit of a hermit, and if I had my way, I’d spend most of summer curled up with a book in the shade. But for whatever reason, as soon as the warm weather hits, I’m overcome with this ridiculous guilt that dictates I should constantly be doing something – making the most of my precious summer days. It’s ridiculous, I know, because I end up spending my whole day fretting over what I should be doing, rather than enjoying the time I have. Winter and fall, on the other hand, provide the perfect excuse to squirrel away in a cozy chair and read my book, totally guilt-free.
But my biggest problem with summer is that it’s almost always too bloody hot to cook. There’s nothing more disheartening than trying to bake a cake when your kitchen’s already 30 degrees, and let’s face it, nobody really wants to dig into warm baked goods on a blistering hot day.
For now, however, summer and I have reached a compromise, and that compromise is watermelon salad.
There are likely a few dozen recipes for watermelon salad floating around, as it’s certainly not groundbreaking or fine dining by any stretch of the imagination. But there is nothing, and I mean nothing, more refreshing than a bowl full of watermelon and mint.
My uncle introduced me to this blessed combination a few weeks back, when I was over at his house for supper on one of these ridiculously hot days. It’s incredibly simple, fresh, and best of all, it honestly takes no more than 10 minutes to put together.
Large kitchen knife
Large mixing bowl
1/2 ripe watermelon
2 – 3 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
1-1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Dash balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
Dice watermelon into 1-inch cubes, discarding outer peel. Place in a large bowl. Add chopped mint and basil. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, tossing to coat. Top with goat cheese and toss to combine. Serve immediately, garnishing with additional mint or basil leaves if desired.