Savoring Summer with Watermelon Grown at Home

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September 27, 2011 at 9:47 pm

It just seems like I always end up talking about watermelon outside of its season.  Summer ended last week, but I think it’s up for debate how much of a summer we had here in Chicago.

The growing season was delayed, both for commercial farmers, as well as personal vegetable gardeners.  So I’m grateful that I was able to get any watermelon out of our very short, and relatively cool, summer in my Earthboxes.  This summer I planted a variety of watermelon unfamiliar to me.  I picked it from the seed catalog based on the description.  Productive, 85 days, cool and short growing season, all sounded like Chicago to me.  A light-fleshed wonder averaging around 10 lbs called Sweet Siberian.

I plucked the larger of the two melons over the weekend during a brief break in the down pours and hoped it would be sweet.  It was.  The flesh was firm and the taste was of the season that had ended.  I used it to make another version of watermelon salad with feta, this time I added pea shoots and marcona almonds.  If you can get your hands on one of those delayed growing season melons you will not be disappointed.

Watermelon and Feta Salad, II

3 lbs watermelon, chopped or use a melon baller

¼ c.  pea shoots

4 oz.  feta, drained and patted dry

¼ c.  marcona almonds, chopped

Vinaigrette

¼ c.     Champagne Vinegar

1T.       Dijon Mustard

2 t.       Sugar

3 T.      EVOO

Combine melon, feta, and marcona almonds.

In a jar add Champagne Vinegar, mustard, sugar, & oil.  Shake vigorously to blend.

Pour Vinaigrette over salad, toss, add pea shoots and serve.

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