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Tasty Watermelon Salad with a Twist

Watermelon is my absolute favourite summer fruit. When I was little my granddad grew watermelons in the backyard, and I spent lots of hot summer days running around covered in sticky watermelon juice.

Although watermelon is available in the supermarket all-year-round it’s best eaten when in season. Seasonal produce is freshly harvested meaning it’s better tasting and more nutritious. Watermelon season occurs from December through to April in Australia.

Pick a good one! A fresh watermelon has red flesh with brown or black seeds. Unless you’re buying a seedless variety, lots of white seeds indicates the watermelon was harvested too early.. The flesh should also be tightly packed around the seeds, gaps indicate a late pick and the watermelon will be dry and grainy. Cut pieces that are seeping liquid have been sitting on the shelf for too long and will be past their prime.

I love this salad because it brings a pop of colour to your plate, and has a nice balance of sweet and salty to satisfy the palate. I usually eat it alone, or it makes a tasty addition to any BBQ or picnic. It’s best eaten while fresh.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 watermelon
  • 2 limes
  • 2 sticks of lemongrass
  • 1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup of thai basil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp cold pressed virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt

Method

  1. Remove and discard the woody outer leaves from the lemongrass and then finely chop the remaining stem.
  2. Zest and juice one of the limes.
  3. Make the dressing by adding the olive oil, sesame oil, lime juice, lime zest, salt, and 1/3 of the lemongrass into a small bowl and stir until combined.
  4. Remove the rind from the watermelon and cut the flesh into 2-3cm cubes.
  5. Place the cubed watermelon into a large bowl and cover with the dressing.
  6. Add the fresh mint leaves and basil and toss with your hands to combine.
  7. Use your hands to lift the salad and place it into a serving dish (your hands will act as a natural sieve for the excess juice and dressing).
  8. Scatter some of the chopped lemon grass on top of the salad and salt to taste.
  9. Serve with fresh lime wedges on the side.

NOTE: This salad is best eaten immediately so prepare just before serving.

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