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It’s the time of year when it’s too hot to do almost anything. We’re staying inside, going to the grocery store just to enjoy the A/C in the freezer aisle, and avoiding turning on the oven and stove as much as possible. It can be hard to feel inspired when it’s so darn hot out, but luckily, mother nature knows just the antidote for the heat and humidity: plenty of the season’s best refreshing fruit and produce, like melons and cucumber. Do yourself a favor and head to the farmer’s market this weekend and pick up a variety of fragrant ripe melons so you can make Martha Stewart’s savory fruit salad, a summer side dish that will cool you down instead of heating things up.
A post shared by Martha Stewart (@marthastewart)
If you’re skeptical of savory fruit, we beg you to at least try it. Stewart doesn’t take things too far here — the seasoning is a truly simple combo of flaky sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, olive oil, and fresh mint.
As for the fruit, she uses a variety of summer melons — golden watermelon, cantaloupe, canary melon, and Honey Kiss melon. But for best results, you should use whatever is local and fresh — the farmer’s market (or your own garden!) is likely the best choice, but you can also find a variety of fresh melons at the regular grocery store this time of year.
Stewart also calls for half of an English cucumber in the recipe. They have a thinner peel and less seeds than a standard cuke; heirloom varieties from your own garden or the farmer’s market would be delicious here too.
When we’re making a recipe where black pepper is one of the main seasoning components, we love to use something high-quality, like these organic Vietnamese purple peppercorns from Burlap & Barrel.
Burlap & Barrel Purple Peppercorns
It’s also nice to use some special olive oil here. After all, it’s doing a lot of the heavy lifting in the recipe, saving you from turning on the stove and making your house an inferno. Try a cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, like Pura Olea.
Pura Olea Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
It’s a dish that’s more than the sum of its parts. Add some feta or buratta to the salad to make it into a light vegetarian meal, or serve it alongside store-bought rotisserie chicken or a selection of charcuterie for the omnivores. It’s one of the best no-cook recipes we can think of, especially if you have great melons.
In search of more summer recipes? Giada De Laurentiis has plenty:
Watch: How to Make Watermelon Mango Salsa
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