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Watermelon Mint Salad

19 Aug

August always feels a little rushed to me. I usually spend the month trying to squeeze in those last outings and get togethers with friends and family and making sure I spend as much time outside as possible since I know the Minnesota Winter is right around the corner… And as it goes with busy schedules it’s a challenge to really sit back, relax and truly appreciate the time that you are spending with your family and friends.

With that being said, I was just recently able to spend some quality time with a good group of girlfriends of mine at one of their houses enjoying the summer weather out on her deck. We try to get together once every 6-8 weeks which with everyone’s schedule can be a little tricky but this time most of us were able to make it and we enjoyed a few summer salads and some grilled pizzas. Everyone always brings something and it turned out to be a fantastic spread! One stand out dish was a watermelon mint salad, pretty much summer in a bowl I think; so crisp, refreshing and light! I am hoping to make this salad one more time before the summer has passed us by…and by the looks of my calendar I will have plenty of chances!

Ingredients

  • 1 small seedless watermelon cut up or “balled” into bite size pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 cup red wine vinegar. (use as much as you need to coat all watermelon chunks)
  • 1/2 of a sweet onion thinly sliced
  • a bunch of mint roughly chopped (I’d say about 1/2 to 1 cup)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Serves: 4-6

Time: 10 minutes

First ball or cut watermelon into bite size chunks. Mix red wine vinegar, salt and pepper together and slowly
add oil while whisking. Gently mix mint, onion and melon together in bowl or carved out half melon rind and pour vinegar mixture over the salad.

Enjoy!

Orzo with Basil and Parmesan

5 Jun

I. Love. Fresh. Basil. I put it in everything I can and what better way to have this versatile herb shine through than a simple Orzo pasta dish. This dish is quite easy and takes about a half an hour from prep to table. A great weeknight meal for anyone short on time or who doesn’t feel like spending too much time in the kitchen.

Orzo with Basil and Parmesan (Adapted from allrecipes.com)

  • 2 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 chopped Shallot
  • 1 minced Garlic Clove
  • 1 Cup uncooked Orzo
  • 4 Cups chicken broth (use Vegetable broth for Vegetarian dish)
  • 1/4 Cup dry white wine
  • 1 Can diced tomatoes liquid discarded or 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1/2 – 1 Cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 – 1/3 Cup Basil chopped chiffonade style – reserve some for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Preparation
Total Prep Time: 30min
Serves: 4
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Saute shallots and garlic until fragrant. Stir in Orzo and saute until lightly browned. Add white wine and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add chicken broth, cover and cook until Orzo is slightly past al dente and most or all of the liquid is absorbed. If it looks like the Orzo needs more broth feel free to add more 1/4 cup at a time.
When Orzo is cooked remove from heat and stir in Parmesan and Basil. Garnish with reserved Basil and serve immediately (with some good crusty bread if desired).
Enjoy!