One of those old friends is my former coworker Suzanne. By far, my favorite Suzanne story stems from the time we went to a work event in a tropical climate and Suzanne, a fellow-fair skinned friend, decided to try to fit in with our natural surroundings a bit more. She tried to get tan!
We were at a beautiful resort so when "sunless tan" appeared on the spa menu, Suzanne figured she was safe. And she was safe... if she was planning to star as an Oompa Loompa in a Charlie and Chocolate Factory remake.
Think of the most awful outcome you can think of, and then add another dose of awful. Seriously, the stuff was worse than drug store tanner and it was applied with a heavy, heavy hand.
However, what I remember even more clearly than Suzanne's awful tan, was her amazing attitude after it happened. She just laughed. I mean at that point, what else can you do? You're trapped at a resort with 100 of your closest coworkers. You might as well own it and Suzanne did. In the words of Tim Gunn, she made it work.
Although we don't work together anymore, we keep in touch on all the important things - kids, pets, Project Runway and Top Chef. She shared this recipe with me and I tried it out a few weeks ago. It's a bit more time-consuming than normal for me (lots of chopping) but it's fantastic and I had to make sure I shared it before summer was over.
This would be a great compliment to anything on the grill. Although it's a popular combo, I've never tried feta and watermelon together and I loved it. The celery gives it a really nice crunch and the vinaigrette is sweet and delicious. The tomatoes just rounded all the flavors out. I used toasted pine nuts but I'd love to try it again with toasted pistachios.
Thanks again for sharing Suzanne, and for reminding me not take life too seriously!
Watermelon, Tomato and Feta Salad
First, make the salad:
2/1 ratio of Watermelon to Tomatoes (ex: 6 cups cubed watermelon to 3 cups cut tomatoes, seeded)
1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup toasted nuts (Suzanne recommends almonds but says walnuts and pecans work just as well, I used pine nuts and she also suggested pistachios)
1/2 cup thin sliced red onion
1/2 cup assorted chopped fresh herbs (Suzanne always includes mint and does variations with parsley, basil, dill and summer savory)
1/2 to 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Second, make the dressing:
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar (the regular discolors it)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Start by pouring half the dressing over the salad, mix and taste. Add more dressing as desired and serve.
- Use heirloom tomatoes for a very colorful salad
- Put over watercress or arugula lettuces to make more of a green salad…either way is good
- Try goat cheese vs. the feta. Same sharp taste and it now comes pre-crumbled for easier assembly