Watermelon Basil Salad

It’s hot outside. Like pierce-you-to-your-very-bones hot. The heat is intense, and it seems like it takes forever to cool down…even once you’re safe inside. Plus, I’m super tired of walking into work at 8:00am looking like I just ran a half-marathon. But just when I think summers in Texas are the worst…I smell watermelon. Freshly cut watermelon has amazing redemptive powers. One smell and “summer” is no longer a dirty word. Summer becomes this glistening season, filled with long sunny days and incredibly sweet delicious foods. So wonderfully cool and refreshing, I forget how much I hate this crazy 100-degree weather.

In honor of all that is refreshing about summer:

Watermelon Basil Salad

Ingredients

6 cups cubed watermelon
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil (approx. 3 large leaves)
½  cup crumbled feta
¼ cup lime-fleshly squeezed
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine watermelon, feta cheese, and basil in a large bowl.
  2. Add lime juice and olive oil over the watermelon mixture and toss gently to coat.
  3. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve immediately.

Roasted Okra – An Incredible Finger Food

Okra is one of those quintessential southern foods…9 out of 10 people* recognize it only in its natural state…Fried! Previously, I had eaten okra only when it has been buried deep in a warm crispy breaded blanket. BUT when we got fresh okra this past weekend, I decided to prepare it an alternative way. Roasted. Roasted vegetables are amazing. They always seem to turn out well, even if you leave them in the oven a little too long. Seasonings don’t need to be exact…roasting just makes all the flavors magically work together. Pretty awesome.

*fake statistic

Roasted Okra
Recipe adapted from NY Times

Ingredients:

4 cups whole okra
1-2 tablespoons olive oil (enough to lightly coat)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Garam Masala (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  2. After rinsing and drying, trim off the tops
  3. In a mixing bowl, toss the okra with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Spread out on baking sheet. {If you have garam masala, sprinkle lightly across the okra.  The taste  is incredible!}
  5. Cook for about 20 minutes or until they look slightly brown and crisp. Make sure to stir half way through.
  6. Serve hot, fresh out of the oven.

It’s Worth the Extra Look

A small part of me feels that I should be posting a fabulous recipe for homemade pizza dough, but the reality is…I have never made my own dough. Don’t get me wrong- I want to, and I certainly plan on it.  Just hasn’t happened yet. And here is bit more reality: when I walk in the door at 7:00pm after being on the go from 7:00am, I am just proud that we are making pizza topped with fresh ingredients and not speed dialing delivery.

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