About Watermelon and Feta Salad

I do not make idle threats. However, I am horrifying lazy. Actually, that’s not true at all; I’ve just been traveling a heck of a lot the last couple months so I haven’t had the opportunity to do much cooking. HOWEVER however, revenge is a dish best served cold, as is this one, and long ago I threatened Candice and Heather Anne with this recipe so here it is. NOT that I’m trying to get revenge on them for anything or nothing, it’s just that they were a little aghast at the idea even though it is SO GOOD.

(THAT SAID, we made this for Seth’s mother back in May and, while she didn’t hate it, she informed us that she wouldn’t be making it for herself any time soon. Also that she suddenly developed a love for kalamata olives. Silver lining?)

The key to this salad has a lot to do with balance, with playing off salty and sweet and sour, with freshness bouncing off heartiness. And if you’ve ever put salt on your apple or watermelon you’ll know exactly what I mean. (Do other people actually do this? Or is this another weirdo Vietnamese habit I think is normal?) All that nonsense said, I don’t have a whole lot of instruction for you on this one; just(ish) a list of ingredients. Which look like this:

And consist of:

  • A watermelon (the sweeter the better), cut into bite-sized chunks
  • A block of feta cheese, cut into smaller bite-sized chunks
  • Good quality kalamata olives, cut in half
  • Fresh mint, julienned
  • Fresh lime
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

I said that the key to this dish is balance, and the key to balance is ratio. So basically you want a quarter to a third the amount of feta and olives as to the watermelon. Does that make sense? MATH IS HARD. What I mean to say is, you want mostly watermelon, with a bit of feta and olive mixed in to add a little salty accent.

After you've carried the two, put all that in a bowl, add a fair bit of the mint, a generous squeeze of lime juice, and a glug or two of extra virgin olive oil. (You can also add thinly sliced red onion to this, but I never do.)

Give it a gentle stir and an initial taste. My guess is that it’s going to need a bit more lime juice, and some salt and pepper. But they’re your taste buds, so you decide for yourself. Then, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for an hour or two until it’s nice and cold.

And voila. A refreshing salad for a hot barbecue.

(One small note: this salad doesn’t keep well. The salt eventually breaks down the watermelon and turns it into mush, so it’s best to make this the day you need it and not the day before. Consider yourself warned.)


About Basil and Lime Creamed Corn

Is it weird for me to do a variation of creamed corn when I have yet to give you a recipe for just plain creamed corn? Yes? No? Do I care? Not really.

I’m back from a week in the Pacific Northwest, a week that was very decidedly NOT hot as balls. And now that I’m back I feel like I was away for 47 years, and oh yeah, it’s also HOT AS BALLS. Because it’s summertime. And summertime means CORMS!

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

Dear Santa I sure do love corn. It’s something I inherited from my mother, I think, who used to bring home 20 ears from the roadside veg stand, steam them all up in a big ol’ pot, and proceed to eat all 20 ears all by herself.


My boyfriend, however, is lazy. He does not like to eat corn on the cob.

funny cat pictures & lolcats - imvisible corn on da cob

But he will eat corn if I do most of the work for him, which does NOT mean, by the way, that I chew it up and regurgitate it back into his mouth like he’s some kind of baby bird EW GROSS YOU PEOPLE ARE DISGUSTING.

funny pictures of cats with captions

(Winston, unlike many lolcats, appears to have no interest in corms.)

ANYWHO, this is my super-healthy version of creamed corn that I came up with all by myself, and it’s light and fresh and requires very little cooking at all, plus unlike real creamed corn there’s no actual cream involved, just a little creaming of the cob.

And this is how you cream a cob.

FIRST! Remove the corn kernels as originally demonstrated in this instructional video.

THEN! Use a spoon to cream the cob as demonstrated in the following instructional video:

You’re gonna want to do that over a shallow bowl or deep plate to capture all the juices that you scrape out of there. It’s slightly messy work, but it’s delicious work, and delicious is half the battle. What’s a battle? I DON’T KNOW.

Moving on. To the recipe. Which is why you’re here (presumably).

For 2 servings you’ll need:
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels removed and cobs creamed
  • 1/4 c diced onion or shallot
  • 1 tsp butter or olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
  • Splash of chicken broth or water
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice (if you use those bottles of lime juice you’re not allowed to make my recipes anymore), to taste
Heat the oil and butter in a medium-sized skillet or saucepan over medium heat. When the oil starts to get shimmery or the butter has stopped foaming, add the onions (for sweeter creamed corn) or shallots (for slightly garlicky creamed corn), a pinch of salt and pepper, and, if you like, a bit of red pepper flakes. I don’t always add the red pepper flakes, but I was serving this with a bit of tilapia and thought the heat would be a nice contrast with the mildness of the fish. ANYWHO, saute all that until the onions/shallots become translucent and start to brown.

Add the creamed corn and a splash of broth/water. The starch from the corn creaming will thicken up the sauce and the broth/water will help the kernels cook evenly. Simmer that until the kernels are tender and the liquid has mostly evaporated.

Remove the pan from the stove and add the basil and enough lime juice for bright, tangy freshness. And add a little more salt and pepper if you think you need it.

If all went according to plan, you should now have a light, summery side dish in under ten minutes. If not, well, MY BAD.