It’s not too late.

Summer technically does not end for two more weeks — Autumn begins on Monday September 23rd this year! That’s a Full Two More Weeks!
And while the summer Harvest is beginning to wane, and Autumn’s apples are coming in. You can still find Blueberries… Pluots… Heirloom tomatoes!
Large crops of fresh local Tomatoes, ripe and red! Not from warehouses where they’ve been gassed for color. …Fresh!
Beautiful, Robust, Tasty, and Delicious!
There’s even a few peaches here and there… They might be done sometime this week….
But it ain’t over!
What can you do with that?
What can you make?
What can you Create, just one more time…
See the possibility!
Waste not the golden hours in grudging they’re going! But rather, celebrate what is here!
Savor what is Now!
One of my very favorite meals is Heirloom Tomato Watermelon Salad! I will often make a big bowl of this and call it dinner!
While it is true that the quality of watermelon often seems to take a dive the day after Labor Day, and it is not as sweet as the peak of Summer, it is still quite acceptable for this dish, and will be for maybe another week or two, maybe three…

What else feels like that?
What else in our lives have we thought perhaps was done, finished, out of season because we reached a certain age or moved to a new physical environment, or lost a job or gained weight or ended a relationship…
May we rethink it?
Remember that every ending is also a Beginning.
All of the richness of our own Harvest is contained within our experience.
And we are still capable of producing delectable fruit!
We still burst forth with all of our own Summer’s sweetness!
And we still have inside of us the seeds of our Beauty, and with proper nurturing, we still can blossom. We are perennial! We are eternal!
Let us celebrate all that we are!
Let us expel any thoughts of loss or having passed it!
Let us recognize the Possibilities before us and within us!
Let us Savor the Sweetness of Now, whether we be at peak season, shoulder season, or the end of something of which we need to Let Go…
For, no doubt, we are on the cusp of the Beginning of a New season with all of its Beauty, Color, Splendor, and Glory set to unfold…

In the meanwhile, for Today, if you rush out to you nearest produce stand, you may likely find some red Watermelon and a few bright colorful Heirloom Tomatoes and we can make the following salad.
Here I share my recipe for one of my very favorite summer dishes!
And technically, it is still summer!
Say out Loud:
In this Moment, there are Plentiful Gifts that surround me!
And I acknowledge, embrace, give thanks for, and receive each and every Gift of the Present Moment!

Carpe diem!
Savor the season!
Celebrate the Now!

HEIRLOOM TOMATO WATERMELON SALAD

Serves 4 to 6 (or as an entrée, it could serve one! 🙂 )

Ingredients:

Heirloom Tomatoes (or any Ripe Sweet Tomatoes of any kind and color) — about 2-3 lbs
Watermelon — about 2-3 lbs
Dried basil — About 1/3 cup
Fresh-Cracked Black Pepper, to taste (I usually use between 1/2 and 3/4 teaspoon, give or take)
Pignoli Nuts (Pine nuts) — about 2-3 ounces (Toasted lightly)
Fresh Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, sliced — about 2-3 ounces
Fresh Basil Leaves, to taste (I usually use about 9-12 Medium to Large Leaves, or so)
Basil Oil to taste (May use any Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Plain or Flavored) (I use maybe 1/3 cup.)

Directions:

1. Dice the Tomatoes and put into a large bowl.
2. Dice the Watermelon and add to bowl.
3. Meanwhile Toast the Pignoli Nuts on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan in a low oven (275 degrees) until golden. These nuts are small, and they can burn fast. So keep an eye on them, especially after the first 5 minutes, checking every minute or so, and stirring them on the pan (or shaking the pan) for even toasting. Once toasted, remove pan from oven, and transfer them to a bowl so that they do not continue to toast.
4. Add the dried Basil to the Watermelon and Tomato and stir gently, yet well, to coat the fruit (And Yes, Tomato is still a Fruit! 🙂 )
5. Add the pepper in 3 or 4 installments, and stir gently, after each.
6. Drizzle olive oil, and stir gently.
7. Using a potato peeler, peel thin strips of cheese into the bowl from a whole piece of Parmigiano Reggiano. Toss gently (The strips will break up a bit and this is good.)
8. Add the Pignoli Nuts, and stir gently for just a moment or two.
9. Rinse and Dry, and then slice the Basil Leaves into thin strips — julienned — and sprinkle on top.
10. Serve Immediately! And Enjoy the Taste of Summer!

1. Dice the Tomatoes and put into a large bowl.
2. Dice the Watermelon and add to bowl.
3. Meanwhile Toast the Pignoli Nuts on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan in a low oven (275 degrees) until golden. These nuts are small, and they can burn fast. So keep an eye on them, especially after the first 5 minutes, checking every minute or so, and stirring them on the pan for even toasting.
4. Add the dried Basil to the Watermelon and Tomato and stir gently, yet well, to coat the fruit (And Yes, Tomato is still a Fruit! 🙂 )
5. Add the pepper in 3 or 4 installments, and stir gently, after each.
6. Drizzle olive oil, and stir gently.
7. Using a potato peeler, peel thin strips of cheese into the bowl from a whole piece of Parmigiano Reggiano. Toss gently (The strips will break up a bit and this is good.)
8. Add the Pignoli Nuts, and stir gently for just a moment or two.
9. Rinse and Dry, and then slice the Basil Leaves into thin strips — julienned — and sprinkle on top.
10. Serve Immediately! And Enjoy the Taste of Summer!

Notes: This is Truly one of those salads that you don’t really need to measure exactly. Whatever Tomatoes I have or can find at the market, whatever piece of Watermelon I have in the fridge… I don’t measure spices, such as basil and pepper, for this. The taste will vary based on the exact amounts you use, but the combination of ingredients is perfection, so it works in almost any configuration. Be Creative and Enjoy!

When I cannot afford Heirloom Tomatoes, I use any ripe summer tomatoes — at this time of year, they are all at peak sweetness, and many are relatively inexpensive! I prefer organic to conventional, but any tomatoes will do (If using cherry or grape tomatoes, halve them instead of dicing them.)

If I am watching calories, I eliminate the olive oil entirely (The Tomatoes and Watermelon are juicy enough!) and I will weigh and measure the nuts and cheese, keeping them to one ounce each.)

And the Equally Delicious Flavors of Autumn are just around the corner…

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2 Comments

  1. I can taste the deliciousness of this salad – and the deliciousness of your words. Wonderful, Arnold!

    Reply

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