Hye Thyme Cafe: Watermelon Salad

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Watermelon Salad

I seriously think I could live on this stuff!! Although sadly, much like me, it refuses to photograph well for some reason! I've made it a few times in the past few weeks, and no matter what I do, I can't get a good shot of it. You'll have to take my word for it - it tastes much better than it looks! I actually made a cocktail version last summer too, but I wasn't crazy about it and forget what I did. Don't tell my brother-in-law! He loved it, so I'm hoping he has forgotten about that and won't be asking me to make it for him again. Shhhh!!

I first came across a version of this on one of those cards you find in supermarkets. I must have been in New Hampshire at the time because we don't have Shaw's here, and it was a Tangy Watermelon Salad on MyWellBeing.Shaws.com.  That version called for the inclusion of feta cheese and red wine vinegar, so that's how I made it the first time, but most of my guinea pigs didn't care for the feta with the watermelon. That reminded me that I had once seen a contestant on Top Chef get torn apart by Tom Colicchio for making something that included watermelon and feta. Meanwhile, if you punch those two ingredients into a search engine, a bazillion recipes pop up!

I either had a memory lapse and thought I was supposed to use olive oil rather than red wine vinegar, or I found another recipe after this one and tried that instead. I usually don't use either. I do, however, include lime zest. I figure so long as I'm squeezing all the juice out of it, I may as well use the zest too.

Mint leaves
Lime juice (zest optional)
Olive oil (optional)
Red wine vinegar (optional)
Sea salt (optional)
Feta (optional)

The important things are the watermelon, cucumbers, mint leaves, and lime juice. The ratios are all dependent on your personal taste and how many people you're serving. The other ingredients are all up for grabs. 

I usually cut the watermelon and cucumber into small bite-sized pieces to make sure you can get some of each on your fork at the same time, but some people prefer larger pieces, so it just depends on who I'm making it for at the time.

When it comes to cucumbers, I have been finding the ones in the supermarket the past few years to be very mushy and seedy, even the English cukes, so I usually use the small pickling cucumbers.  

For the most basic version, toss together your watermelon and cucumber with some ribbons of mint leaves, then squeeze lime juice over the whole thing.

Like I said, I can't remember when/how the olive oil came into the equation, but sometimes I'll drizzle a little of that over it before the lime juice, then I'll sprinkle a little sea salt over the top.

If you don't think you'll be eating it within a day or two, you might want to mix it over a steamer basket so the juice will drain below it and not make everything mushy.

If you are going to include the lime zest, I would wait until just before serving and sprinkle it over the top for the visual appeal.

This is a very refreshing dish any time of the day, either as a side dish, dessert, or any-time snack.


  1. I have been hearing about this type of salad for years, by darn, this year I am going to give it a try!

  2. You DEFINITELY should try this one Patti!! I do like it best cut small and using the little pickling cukes.


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