Last week Lilli used the term “feet wrists.” I almost didn’t want to correct her and let her know most people prefer to use the term “ankles.” After it happened, I wanted so badly to write it down somewhere, so I wouldn’t forget how precious my little girl is. And then I thought of this space. I come here to share recipes and stories with you, but I realize now it’s also so I won’t forget them.
Cheap Beets turned 6 this week. I’ve shared stories, a birth, another birth, jobs, and now a move. But it always comes back to the food, and I have so much more sharing to do. But for some reason, I forget to blog about it. It took me until nearly the end of June to remember how I love tossing coins of summer squash with more garlic than I think I need, some fresh thyme, olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt, and then roasting it all in a hot, hot oven. If only I wrote it down somewhere, I thought to myself.
And last night I thought to myself, if only I could write down somewhere that the perfect corn salad is three ears corn, half a zucchini, quartered, three radishes, chopped, and just a smidge of chopped sweet Vidalia onion. (Honestly, it didn’t need the feta, although it was a nice touch.)
A friend was once flipping through one of my cookbooks and laughed when she saw my annotation about there being too much onion in the recipe as it was written. But of course you have to write notes in the cookbook! That way you’ll know the next time you read the recipe and think it sounds pretty good, you’ll be forewarned about the onions.
That brings me to this watermelon caprese salad, which I found in a Rachael Ray magazine floating around my mom’s house. It was a solid concept, but the 6 Tablespoons of EVOO was far too much. I ended up dumping much of it out and adding more vinegar and sugar, although that may have more to do with how much I like vinegar. My mom, on the other hand, could not be persuaded to try the salad because of the dressing.
Of course, the salad would have been better if I’d had basil on hand. I didn’t, but it was still wonderful, and it will make it onto our summer table for years to come. I think it’s easiest to taste the dressing as you make, or even leave it on the side, if you remember to.
Watermelon Caprese from Rachael Ray Every Day, September 2016 issue
4 Tablespoons EVOO (6 in the original recipe)
3 Tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar or white wine vinegar, or to taste
¼ teaspoon sugar
1 ball (8oz.) fresh mozzarella, sliced into 8 rounds
8 square watermelon slices (seriously though, the shape isn’t essential)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
In a medium bowl, whisk oil, vinegar and sugar to taste.
On platter, layer cheese and melon. Drizzle with dressing; top with basil.