First, the Grilled Watermelon with Feta, Balsamic and Mint. I love the children’s editions of adult food shows. I was particularly intrigued by one series that featured a group of young contestants grilling everything in sight. It was there that I saw a young girl produce a close facsimile to today’s Watermelon Salad. I was so impressed; I introduced the idea to a skeptical Andrew. He was leery until the first bite at which point he became not only a convert but also a maker of the salad. Summer reading for me always includes a cookbook or ten. So you can imagine my surprise to discover that my little contestant’s Watermelon effort was a recipe from Patricia Wells’ “The French Kitchen Cookbook” (William Morrow 2013). Ms. Well’s version was a little more elegant than my young friend’s but you have to give points to an eleven year old who knows who Patricia Wells even is.
I wait all summer for field-ripened tomatoes. Despite the fact that our farm stand showcases extraordinarily large hothouse tomatoes from their Memorial Day opening on, there is nothing like the real thing. Since our summer has been very sunny, this year’s crop is sweeter, redder and juicier than ever. Local peaches take almost as long to come to market as the tomatoes. This year, several parings of tomatoes with peaches intrigued us. The acidity of the tomato is a great counterbalance to the sweet peaches. So we borrowed the combination and added our own flourishes. Buratta has supplanted Mozzarella as our cheese of choice this summer. Its creamy liquid center is irresistible. A chiffonade of basil brings the salad color and that heavenly scent of the herb. And can we be forgiven for yet another drizzle of balsamic reduction?