Summer is truly here… and the mercury goes up delighting the hearts of all those who have been waiting for just that. That is exactly how the day started yesterday. But by around 10 am, it was evident that the humidity was going up and the day was turning muggy. And my plans for lunch changed suddenly to reflect that reality.
Don’t get me wrong… I’m not complaining about the weather. I don’t mind at all if the weather is muggy on a weekday, when anyway I have to stay chained to my laptop. The weekends, that is what matters. And the weekends have been glorious so far! Here is hoping that they keep that trend going till the end of the season. Don’t I have a thousand plans for the rest of the summer? 🙂
Sooo lunch… yes, a salad for lunch; I needed to make a salad for lunch. Not any salad, but a light salad, that feels like a cool breeze. At the same time, it had to have some bulk. Watermelon! One of the fruits that symbolises summer for me. Lightly sweet, taking care of hunger and thirst at the same time. Yes, that will be the base of the salad.
And some arugula, to counteract the sweetness of the watermelon. The slightly peppery taste of the arugula balances very well with the watermelon. Sliced black olives for an added bit of flavour and thinly sliced white mushrooms to take up the juice. Perfect combo, in flavours as well as colours!
For the dressing, no oil. A squeeze of lemon, of course. I was about to go with a splash of honey to cut the tanginess of the lemon juice, but then remembered I had an unopened bottle of maple syrup sitting by. It was a present from a friend from Toronto, last time she visited me. Lemon juice and a splash of maple syrup, shaken up together, worked just right!
In case… just in case you would like a bit of heat to add to the fun, include a finely minced pickled jalapeno to the dressing. Adds a good kick, but it is strictly optional.
A salad that is a feast to satisfy all your senses!
- 2 cups watermelon pieces
- 1 cup arugula baby leaves
- 12 black olives, sliced crosswise
- 2 white mushrooms, sliced thinly
- Juice from ½ a lemon
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 pickled jalapeno to add some heat, strictly optional
- Salt to taste
- In a large dish, toss together watermelon pieces, arugula, sliced olives and mushrooms.
- Sprinkle with salt to taste.
- Transfer to a serving dish and chill in the refrigerator.
- Thoroughly shake together the lemon juice and maple syrup (and finely minced jalapeno, if using) to make the dressing.
- When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad and serve right away.