Jessie: I love, love, love watermelon salad. It’s fast, cool and mostly healthy. It is a great way to salvage a disappointing melon. You know, the mealy, flavorless type that woos you at the grocer with its heft and satisfying thump when tapped just so! Here’s how you do it:
Take a watermelon and chunk it up into bite sized pieces. Don’t worry about being too neat, just be thoughtful about the size of the average human mouth. Place in a bowl big enough to stir things round without too much inconvenience.Get a hold of somewhere between 5-10 stems of mint. It needs to be fresh but the variety doesn’t really matter. Strip off the leaves and cut into thin ribbons. I prefer to use kitchen shears for this task. Mix into the melon chunks. Now squeeze the juice out of a lime and add it to the melon. Add a couple of good sized spoonfuls of rum. Stir it all up. Give a taste and decide if you need more lime juice or more rum. If the flavors are still flat, or if the color of the melon is still a bit peaked, you do. Slosh on more of whichever or both. Stir again. Sample again. Serve to enthusiastic applause. If you have leftovers, which you probably won’t, this is great frozen or pureed and then frozen and served like a granita.
Sherry: For me it is tomatoes. Our yard has too much shade to grow our own. I love going to the farmers market on Saturday morning and buying fresh from the field tomatoes. Red all the way through and they smell so wonderful. You can’t find anything like them in the grocery store. I think I could live on tomato, avocado and bacon sandwiches all summer long!
Liz: Blackberries. When I was a kid, we lived on a street with only three houses. Most of the land around us was woods and swamp. There was an area behind my house where wild blackberries grew. I remember it was such a treat to be allowed out there, picking all the juicy berries off the trees. I ate most of them before we got them back to the house to wash.
Sadly, when they developed the rest of the street, the blackberry bushes were torn down. The fruit has just never tasted the same. I love blackberries any way I can get them, but there’s just something about those wild grown, hand picked ones that will always be special. Or maybe it’s the memories that go with those berries.
Julie: Tomatoes are right up there. My friend Tom had a great recipe–take a loaf of French bread, and split it. Put pesto on both sides, fresh tomatoes, fresh mozarella. Wrap it up in foil, and throw it on the grill. Yum.
My other favorite are blueberries. I love love love fresh blueberries. Perfect balance of tart and sweet, I eat them out of the box. Can’t wait till they start rolling in.
Edith: Fresh local peaches. I grew up in southern California with both a yellow peach and a white peach tree in my yard. I think they are heavenly, especially the white peaches.
And really, any home grown vegetable that you pick in the sun and stand right there to eat it: a slim green bean, a gold cherry tomato, a crisp leaf of lettuce, a snap pea, a long crunchy cucumber. More heaven!
Readers: what’s your favorite summer food? Do you have a favorite summer recipe? And to a lucky commenter, a copy of A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die, which is all about locally grown summer foods! Be sure to check the blog tomorrow for the name of today’s giveaway winner.