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The Best Slice of Summer

As another heat wave follows us this week, it is hard to imagine anything other than a sandy beach, cool ocean air and a cold drink in hand. Waking up and getting ready for work seems like a daunting task, knowing that then probability of needing a shower by noon is 1000% and the idea or notion of being in the kitchen preparing a meal is as horrible as being sent to work at Hells Kitchen. Fear not friends, when it comes to summertime cooking you can find plenty of options, which do not include a flame, and actually use one main succulent fruit, watermelon. Now, technically watermelon is a botanical berry called a pepo, none the less this year has produced some of the best in years. It has become hard to stop dreaming about the delectable fruit that is full of flavor, cool and refreshing. This being said, some of my personal favorite recipes to prepare this summer have been simple, fun and able to minimize the time you spend in the kitchen. The following are 2 quick and easy recipes that I know you will absolutely fall in love with. 1- Watermelon Salad with Mind and Crispy Prosciutto INGREDIENTS 4ounces thinly sliced prosciutto 3pounds watermelon (including rind) 6radishes, quartered 4scallions, sliced 1/4cup fresh mint, torn 1/4cup salted peanuts, chopped 2tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil kosher salt and pepper Directions Heat oven to 400° F. Arrange the prosciutto in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Trim and discard the rind from the watermelon. Cut the flesh into 1/4-inch-thick triangles. Place the watermelon in serving dishes and sprinkle with the radishes, scallions, mint, and peanuts. Drizzle with the lime juice and oil. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Break the prosciutto into pieces and sprinkle over the salad before serving. 2. Watermelon and Machego with Arugula Pesto Ingredients For the Pesto 2 bunches fresh arugula (not pre-washed from a bag), rinsed very well and patted dry 1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered 1 small handful coarsely chopped walnuts 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more if needed Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste For the salad 3 1/2-inch thick round slices of a large whole watermelon 2 thick slices Spanish manchego cheese, about 1/4 pound total Directions Combine the arugula, garlic, walnuts, lemon juice and half the olive oil in a blender. Pulse lightly until incorporated, then drizzle in olive oil and continue to pulse until blended but not completely smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside. Trim the edges off the watermelon slices to make squares. Cut two thick slices of cheese to fit the watermelon squares if using a wedge, otherwise swap steps 2 and 3 and trim watermelon to fit the pre-sliced cheese. Plate as follows: watermelon, manchego, pesto, repeat. Smear a little extra pesto on the plate before serving. As always shop for all your restaurant needs!

2017-05-14 00:00:00
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