A summertime salad of mixed greens, juicy watermelon, plump blueberries, creamy feta, and toasted almonds in a sweet and tangy watermelon vinaigrette is a side dish worthy of barbecues, picnics, and Fourth of July parties!
For a variety of reasons, Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays of the year. First off, it falls during summer, which — despite the oftentimes ridiculous Texas heat — is my favorite season of the year. Secondly, it’s a holiday that you can celebrate without the added pressure of buying gifts or stuffing eggs or cooking a 27-course meal. Third, there are parades and picnics and barbecues and fireworks. And have I mentioned the boatloads of red, white, and blue?
But most importantly? It’s America’s birthday and, for someone who gets all weepy over the swelling chords of Stars and Stripes Forever or Lee Greenwood belting out I’m Proud to Be an American, that’s a big deal. Actually, if I’m being totally honest, the waterworks are automatic if I hear the latter on my car radio any ol’ day of the year. What can I say? ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land… I’m a patriotic sap.
Today I have a recipe that can help you with at least a few of the above categories…specifically, picnics/barbecues and a fondness for red, white, and blue. Because regardless of what’s on your Fourth of July shindig menu, a patriotic color scheme should be included somewhere. Am I right?
This salad would be delicious all summer long, when watermelons are sweet and juicy and blueberries are sweet and plump. But it would be especially delightful on your July 4th buffet table, seeing as how it’s not only red, white, and blue, but you can easily cut your watermelon into adorable, patriotic stars. A salad with freaking edible stars, people! If that’s not cuteness overload, I’m not sure what is.
And I promise that these watermelon stars won’t require you to go all Martha Stewart on anyone. A simple star-shaped cookie cutter (or star cutters in various sizes, if you already happen to have a set like that — ahem) is all that’s required. Cutting out stars really doesn’t take much longer than cutting your watermelon into chunks. However, if basic cubes are more your speed, you can certainly go for those instead of stars…this is a No Fruit-Shape Judging Zone. However you decide to adorn your salad, rest assured that it will be beautiful and delicious!
You know why? Because we’re not just talking about watermelon chunks on a bed of mixed greens here. There are also blueberries that burst when you bite into them, and mild, creamy feta cheese, perfectly counterbalanced by crunchy, toasty slivered almonds. As for the salad dressing, what could be more fitting than Watermelon Vinaigrette?
Even if you start with a small seedless watermelon (and I apologize that my watermelon here is actually more orangey-pinkish than American flag red — please use your imagination), you’re only going to use a fraction of it for your watermelon stars. It’s likely that some of your watermelon will be leftover and can be reserved for another use altogether. But if you toss some of those star-remnant watermelon scraps into a 1-cup measuring cup and whiz them up with a few other ingredients, you’ll have created a tangy, refreshing watermelon vinaigrette to perfectly top this salad!
So how will you be celebrating the Fourth this year? Whatever your plans, I hope they include fun, family, and food…and now that you’ve read this post, I also hope they include watermelon stars…or at least time-efficient watermelon cubes. 😉 God bless the USA!
More Fourth of July fun…