Usually I am among the world’s worst at choosing a ripe watermelon, especially when the watermelon is small and seedless. Somehow I just don’t understand the whole thumping thing. That leaves me to rely on the sympathy and judgment of strangers or, when shopping at off hours as I was last week, with little to go on except the color, size and general attractiveness of the fruit in question.
All the same, alone in the produce section one day last week, I was confronted by a large box of relatively small watermelons that were so pretty I just couldn’t resist the impulse to put one in my basket and take it home.
Cutting into that watermelon a few hours later on a warm June evening, I was thrilled to discover that luck had been with me. The watermelon I brought home was perfectly ripe and sweet, with a gorgeous ruby flesh that was full of flavor and without the slightest hint of mushiness around the few small seeds I found inside. It was a wonderful surprise.
Still, there were leftovers. Try as we might we weren’t able to consume more than half of that small watermelon with our dinner. After dinner I turned to my recipe files and soon had the perfect antidote: a recipe clipping from Real Simple for a watermelon, cucumber and mint salad. It even included a handful of that lovely chocolate mint growing just outside my back door.
Luck had stayed in my corner. This recipe, a combination of just a few fresh and simple ingredients I would have never thought of combining on my own, turned out to be amazing. Honestly, you’ve got to try it! It’s the perfect side dish to brighten a dinner plate while adding a cool and refreshing note to most any summer meal.