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Cool salads for hot summer days


As summer days grow increasingly warmer, (temperatures in Athens have been well into the high 30s of late!) you may find yourself reaching for cooling and refreshing foods that involve spending less time in a hot kitchen and allow you more time to enjoy long, lazy summer days. Additionally, portable dishes, like both of these salads, are perfect for picnics, beach lunches or simply taking to the park in the afternoon!


Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint



Summer in Greece means that watermelon season is in full swing, and the sweet fruits are everywhere! They are of course delicious on their own, but I have always loved mixing the sweetness of watermelon with, salty feta and refreshing mint. This salad is so simple, so delicious and looks beautiful!


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small or ¼ large watermelon, rind removed, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 2 pounds/1kg once you have removed the rind)

  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 lime, juiced (you can also add a little zest on top too for extra zestiness)

  • ¼ cup (7g) fresh mint leaves, chopped (if you don’t have mint, basil also works really well)

  • Roughly ½ cup (100-150g) crumbled feta cheese

  • Salt and pepper to taste


INSTRUCTIONS


  • Remove the rind from the watermelon and chop the fruit into 1-inch chunks.

  • In a small bowl, or jar, mix the olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper and zest (if using).

  • Place the cubed watermelon in a large bowl. Cover with dressing and chopped mint, toss gently to coat. Crumble feta cheese on top and enjoy!


White Bean Salad with Herb Dressing




INGREDIENTS

  • 400 grams / 1 can cannellini (or any white beans) beans, cooked

  • 70 grams / 3 cups rucola or other greens

LEMON HERB VINAIGRETTE

  • 60 ml / ¼ cup olive oil

  • 12 grams / ½ cup mint

  • 12 grams / ½ cup parsley

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled

  • Zest 1 lime

  • Juice 1 lime

  • 1-2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar, to taste (optional)

  • ½ teaspoon sumac

  • ¼ teaspoon honey

  • Salt & pepper to taste

  • Chilli flakes (optional)

  • Cherry tomatoes for serving

INSTRUCTIONS


Start with the dressing:


Place all the ingredients into a tall container and blend on high with a blender or food processor until smooth.


Place the beans in a medium bowl and stir in the herb vinaigrette until the beans are fully coated.

To assemble the salad, add a handful of the greens to the bottom of each bowl, then top with 1/4 of the bean mixture, dice some cherry tomatoes on top and serve


NOTES


* I prefer this with a little bit of vinegar but it not necessary if you are not a vinegar fan.

** If you can't find or don't have sumac, just leave it out. It simply adds an extra citrus flavour.

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