June 3, 2011

Cucumber Watermelon Slaw

Traditionally slaws are associated with cabbage marinated in dressing, as in coleslaw, but the slaw (from the Dutch word for salad) on its own can be used to describe any salad of marinated fresh vegetables and fruits. Because summer is just around the corner, fresh cucumber and watermelon slaw seems to be a great dish to jump start fresh fruit and vegetables dishes, which are so satisfying to eat in hot weather. Watermelon, likely originating in Southern Africa because there watermelon grows wild and reaches great diversity, is a truly beautiful fruit, which has been cultivated by humans around the world for thousands of years. Watermelon rinds, commonly eaten in Asia and some parts of Europe, have a mind watermelon flavor with a crunchy texture and are a great addition to their sweet flesh. Watermelon and cucumber slaw is a great accompaniment to spring rolls or white wine sangria for those warm summer nights.

Regular basil may be used instead of Thai basil, just as regular cucumbers may be used instead of English cucumbers. Any variety of watermelon will work.

1 ½ c English cucumber, thinly sliced into rounds

1 ½ c watermelon, thinly sliced into wedges

1 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp sugar

1 tbsp fresh mint, roughly chopped

1 tbsp fresh Thai basil, whole (small leaves) or roughly chopped (larger leaves)

¼ tsp salt

freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine vinegar, sugar, mint, basil and salt in a small mixing bowl. Set dressing aside until sugar and salt have dissolved in vinegar, 5-10 minutes.

2. Place sliced cucumber and watermelon in a medium-mixing bowl. Add dressing and gently toss to combine. Season to taste with fresh pepper. Set slaw aside to marinate at least 1 hour before serving.

3. Serve cucumber watermelon slaw room temperature or chilled.

Serves 3-4


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