CUCUMBER MELON FETA MINT SALAD
Serving size: 2
This dish is the epitome of a light and juicy summer refresher — perfect as a starter, side dish, or snack. It's packed with immune-boosting & skin-beautifying carotenoids from the melons and comes together rather quickly. Because watermelon, cantaloupe, and cucumber all contain up to 90 percent water, it's also ultra hydrating.
• 4 tablespoons champagne vinegar
• 2 tablespoons raw honey
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1 shallot
• handful fresh mint leaves
• 2 tablespoons pistachio oil (or olive oil)
• 2 cups cubed watermelon
• 2 cups cubed cantaloupe
• 2 mini cucumbers
• 1/4 cup vegan feta
• 2 tablespoons crushed pistachios
Pistachio oil has a high concentration of linoleic acid, fatty acids, and vitamin E — all incredible for skin health.
Pistachio oil isn't commonly found in most stores, so if you'd like to use I'd recommend ordering online. I love all of La Tourangelle's cooking oils and they make a great Roasted Pistachio Oil.
Begin by making the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, add the champagne vinegar, honey, salt and whisk to combine. Cut your shallot into very fine, thin slices (I highly recommend using a mandolin for this). Add your thinly sliced shallots to the vinaigrette mixture and toss to coat the shallots in the liquid. Add a few fresh mint leaves to this mixture and set aside in the fridge for roughly 10 minutes while you assemble the rest of the salad.
Using the mandolin once more, slice the mini cucumbers into very thin ribbons length wise. Arrange the cubed watermelon, cantaloupe, and cucumber ribbons in a bowl, followed by a drizzle of pistachio oil.
Remove the shallot vinaigrette mixture from the fridge, take out several of the sliced shallots from the mixture and add on top of your melons and cucumber. Drizzle the salad with some of the vinaigrette, pistachio oil, and salt to taste. Finish with a sprinkle of vegan feta, crushed pistachios, and more fresh mint leaves.
Interestingly, the phytonutrient lycopene found in watermelon is actually better absorbed in the presence of fat so the pistachio oil in this salad is a perfect pairing. The mint in here also stimulates digestive enzymes which help facilitate better absorption of nutrients from food and when the body is able to absorb nutrients properly, your metabolism is also improved.