Last week I wrote about the 7-course meal we made for our 17 year old’s birthday celebration, sharing the recipe for caramelized orange peel. As you may have guessed, creating a meal with this many courses provided more than one new recipe. So, while there were tried and true dishes, such as sautéed spinach, we did get to experiment a little.
One such dish was the watermelon and celery salad. I have made plenty of fruit salads over the years, but the addition of celery made it unique. When I was deciding on how to turn the watermelon into a salad, my son said that he really didn’t find fruit salad to be exciting. As he explained, “It’s just a bunch of fruit together.” Oh, how true that can be. So, in order to make something more noteworthy, I decided to add a savory element to the dish.
I wasn’t sure how the combination of watermelon would be received. However, as celery is mild in flavor, I figured it couldn’t be a disaster. Luckily I seem to know my family’s taste buds pretty well, as everyone enjoyed this salad. The celery added a nice amount of crunch, which was impervious to the liquid from the watermelon and the juices. Also, the use of lime juice really helped to provide contrast between its own bitterness and the sweetness of the watermelon.
With summer’s unofficial arrival this holiday weekend, this salad would make a good addition to your cookout menu.
Watermelon & Celery Salad
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tb. lime juice
1 Tb. honey
salt & pepper
2 cups watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup celery, diced
In a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup, combine juices and honey. Heat for 30 seconds in microwave, then stir until honey is fully incorporated. Set aside to cool. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Combine watermelon and celery in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Pour juice mixture over salad and toss. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours, allowing flavors to meld.