Watermelon, Cucumber, and Basil Salad

Am I the only one that is feeling hot and bothered lately?  It is a zillion degrees outside, our wedding is now less than two months away, and life just feels like its zooming along at breakneck speed.

I’ve found some nice ways to cool my everloving jets, though.  Like taking a shower or bath.  It doesn’t matter what time of day it is or what else is going on – it is like a reset button.  If you really only have thirty seconds, a quick face-washing works well too.

Or clearing clutter.  I’m not talking about a massive gutting of every drawer, I’m talking a quick ten-minute sweep to get things looking orderly.  I’ve found that when I’m not looking at a hot mess, it miraculously makes my brain feel like less of a hot mess.

Also, making a list!  For me, writing it all down always takes an amorphous blob of overwhelm and turns it into a realistic assessment of what needs doing.

My absolute favorite way to chill the fuck out, though, is to eat today’s Watermelon, Cucumber, and Basil salad.  Here’s the thing – watermelon and cucumber are natural coolants.  The Slurpees of Mother Nature, if you will.  They’re so full of water that they hydrate the body beautifully.

In terms of flavors, they are meant to be BFFs – cucumber backs up watermelon with its crunch, watermelon returns the favor with its sweetness.  The balsamic vinegar, basil, feta, and cashews complement everything perfectly; but then again, don’t they always?

It is way more filling than you’d ever expect.  We ate this for dinner last week and I had visions of digging into other leftovers after I was done, but it’s a complete, refreshing meal that involves zero oven use.  The amounts can absolutely be adjusted to taste; I don’t want to tell you how to live your life.

Watermelon, Cucumber, and Basil Salad

Ingredients:

Salad
3-4 cups of watermelon, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
2-3 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into whatever size chunks you’d like
2-3 oz. crumbled goat or sheep’s milk feta
2 generous handfuls of basil, chopped
2 tbsp. raw cashews, roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Dressing
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Yield:  2 hearty servings

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Cook Time:  0 minutes

Instructions:

  • To prepare dressing, begin by vigorously whisking the balsamic vinegar and slowly drizzling in olive oil.
  • Watermelon is pretty delicate, so rather than an aggressive toss of the salad (har har), lay out the watermelon and cucumber on a large plate and sprinkle with the basil.
  • Save the nuts, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste for immediately before serving – the nuts and cheese so they retain their texture, and the seasoning because it will make the veggies release their water.
  • Once you’ve served the salad onto individual plates, drizzle with dressing and add extra basil and salt and pepper to taste.
14 Responses to Watermelon, Cucumber, and Basil Salad
  1. Karina Ladet
    August 18, 2012 | 8:46 am

    That sounds so yummy! It’s really hot here today and I LOVE watermelon : ). Good luck on preparing your wedding, Marla! Big hugs, Karina

    • Marla
      August 28, 2012 | 8:02 am

      Awwww, thank you so much sweet Karina! I hope you have been well and sending you big hugs right back.

  2. Jo Macdonald
    August 17, 2012 | 7:18 am

    YUM! Out of curiosity what is Basil good for? I am totally addicted to it and just wondered what wonders it is actually doing for me – good looks; wonderful sense of humour; great hair; increased sexiness…come on it must help with some of this….please! ♥

    • Marla
      August 28, 2012 | 8:01 am

      Jo, you already have all of those things!!! <3 But OMG, basil is actually very good for PMS due to all the iron, you are SO psychically linked to all things menstrual! I love it. xoxo

  3. NoraAmala
    August 17, 2012 | 6:00 am

    Wow, I must try this out – this weekend its gonna be hot here. And the comments are cool too, watermelon and feta? This is going to be an adventurous weekend :) LOL but yes, it sounds yummy

    • Marla
      August 28, 2012 | 7:59 am

      heheehe thank you so much Nora… I hope you enjoyed! <3

  4. Gina
    August 16, 2012 | 6:44 pm

    I never would have thought of this chill-out combo….yum! will have to try it out…..I have a great basil plant too growing out front…….thx sweets!

    • Marla
      August 28, 2012 | 7:58 am

      thank YOU lovely! you’re very smart to have a basil plant – it’s one of those things that i always wind up throwing out some of otherwise!!

  5. Joanna
    August 16, 2012 | 12:04 pm

    Love it!!! This type of salad is also really good with mint instead of basil.

    • Marla
      August 28, 2012 | 7:57 am

      thanks sisteh! yes but mint does not grow nearly as quickly in our aero garden.

  6. tokyotutti
    August 16, 2012 | 10:07 am

    i want this for lunch! it’s also so pretty.

    • Marla
      August 28, 2012 | 7:57 am

      thanks babes – i agree, what could be better than a pink lunch???

  7. Cat @ Breakfast to Bed
    August 16, 2012 | 9:21 am

    Watermelon+Feta=love of my life right now.

    • Marla
      August 28, 2012 | 7:56 am

      MINE TOO.

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HEY YOU!
I'm Marla Hamilton, and this is my blog. I write it because I want to make it very easy for you to feel healthy and great about yourself.Read more about me here.
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