I love fresh mint. I love fresh mint so much that when I buy it at the market, I walk around carrying it in front of my face so I can sniff the tantalizing, minty aroma while I shop. Instant aromatherapy.
And, usually when I buy a big bunch of fresh mint, I either make mojtos with it or keep it in a mason jar, filled with water, on my kitchen counter, so the entire room smells minty fresh. But, oddly enough I don’t use it in many food recipes; my raw, vegan pea soup that I made a few weeks ago was the first.
So, I was perusing bad-girl chef, Nigella Lawson’s website the other day when I found this amazing, minty watermelon salad recipe and decided that it was time to do something with mint other than smelling it, drinking it and decorating my kitchen with it.
Nigella’s Minty Watermelon Salad
- 4 limes
- 1 small red onion
- 1.5 kilograms watermelon (sweet and ripe)
- 250 grams feta cheese
- 1 bunch fresh flatleaf parsley
- 1 bunch fresh mint (chopped)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 100 grams pitted black olives
- black pepper
- Peel and halve the red onion and cut into very fine half-moons and put in a small bowl to steep with the lime juice, to bring out the transparent pinkness in the onions and diminish their rasp. Two limes’ worth should do it, but you can find the fruits disappointingly dried up and barren when you cut them in half, in which case add more.
- Remove the rind and pips from the watermelon, and cut into approximately 4cm / 1½ inch triangular chunks, if that makes sense (maths is not my strong point). Cut the feta into similar sized pieces and put them both into a large, wide shallow bowl. Tear off sprigs of parsley so that it is used like a salad leaf, rather than a garnish, and add to the bowl along with the chopped mint.
- Tip the now glowingly puce onions, along with their pink juices over the salad in the bowl, add the oil and olives, then using your hands toss the salad very gently so that the feta and melon don’t lose their shape. Add a good grinding of black pepper and taste to see whether the dressing needs more lime. Hava Negila! The taste of Tel Aviv sunshine!
I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, but close enough, and it was melt in your mouth, refreshingly delicious. A perfect light, summer dinner.
Oh, and the health and beauty benefits of mint:
- Juice from fresh mint can soothe and calm skin that’s itchy or infected. You can also use it to help heal bites from mosquitoes, wasps and bees.
- Mint contains vitamin A and helps to strengthen skin tissue, reduce oily skin and clear acne outbreaks.
- Mint also helps upset or inflamed stomachs. When you feel sick to your stomach, drinking a cup of mint tea can soothe your tummy.
- Fights dehydration. Made up of 92% water and full of important electrolytes, watermelon is perfect to munch on during hot summer months.
- Watermelon is also great for your skin because it contains vitamin A, and a high water content to keep skin soft and hydrated.
- Watermelon and watermelon juice have been shown to reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery time following exercise in athletes.
- Contains a ton of health giving vitamins, minerals and antioxidants but is incredibly low in calories.
Mint and watermelon. Tastes amazing together and has a ton of health and beauty benefits too! What’s not to love?