Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spring Blooms

Fragrant Lilacs

by Elaine Magliaro
Tall lilacs border

my grandparents’ driveway.

In May they bloom

with clusters of lacy lavender flowers

that fill the air

with the scent

of remembered springs.

Poem selected from A Home for the Seasons (book of memoir poems) by Elaine Magliaro

Cook's notes: This salad comes from Giadia De Laurentiis (2007) and is perfect for summer using fresh mint and basil from the garden or local Farmers Market. My plan is to make it for an upcoming family shower. Adding crumbled feta or mozzarella to the salad is an option. But a must culinary tool for putting this salad together is a melon baller.

Watermelon and Cantaloupe Salad with Mint and Basil Vinaigrette by Giadia
  • 1/2  of watermelon
  • 1 cantaloupe, cut in half, seeded
  • 2 TB. freshly chopped mint leaves plus whole sprigs, for garnish
  • 2 TB. freshly chopped basil leaves plus whole sprigs, for garnish
  • 1 lemon juiced (1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup (equal amounts sugar and water heated until sugar dissolves, cool)
  • 1/8 teaspoon amaretto or almond extract
  • Scoop 2 cups each from the watermelon and the cantaloupe using a melon baller. Carve the remainder of the watermelon out and reserve shell.
  • Add to a blender the chopped mint, chopped basil, lemon juice, simple syrup and amaretto. Blend until smooth. 
  • Add the watermelon and cantaloupe balls to the carved out watermelon half. 
  • Add the vinaigrette to the balls and toss to combine. 
  • Garnish with mint and basil sprigs. 
Arugula, Watermelon- Feta Salad

This salad is another option using watermelon cubes. Some options include: mixed greens, using same vinaigrette dressing in the above recipe or try this one below from the Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten). The cubes can be placed on the mixed greens with vinaigrette drizzled over the top.
The recipe was adapted and serves 6.
  • 1/4 cup orange juice 
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons) 
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots 
  • 1 TB. honey 
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper 
  • 6 cups baby arugula or mixed greens 
  • watermelon cubes pat dry with paper towels 
  • diced feta cheese 
  • 1/4 cup chopped finely mint leaves 
  • 1/4 cup chopped finely basil leaves 
  • In a blender add juices, honey, shallots, salt and pepper, mint and basil and mix well 
  • Slowly pour in oil and blend on low-then to medium 
  • Store dressing in refrigerator covered till needed 
  • Place greens on plates, add watermelon cubes-drizzle dressing over the top 
  • Garnish with whole walnuts 

1 comment:

  1. Lilacs. How I love them. Another fresh bouquet on my table, from the husband.