Hot Days, Cold Persian Cucumber and Watermelon Salad

by Marjan

“Salad? Again for lunch?” I hear my family ask me with dismay.  I don’t blame them.  On hot summer days, I really find it difficult to turn on the stove or oven to prepare our meals. Therefore, I am always looking for inventive ways or new recipes to satisfy my families hunger with delicious salads that are easy to prepare.
I remember forty years ago when my family and I first came to live in the States, my American friends thought the foods I ate to be alien.  They would stare at me strangely as I crunched into my pomegranate seeds or other ‘exotic’ fruits.  These days, pomegranates are a common house hold name.  Back then, it was considered ‘strange’.

Lately I am witnessing the same trend with Persian cucumbers.  Nowadays, these deeply fragrant cucumbers are seen frequently in main stream grocery stores and restaurants. They are my favorite type of cucumber because they contain the highest ratio of skin to flesh, resulting in concentrated flavor and crunchy texture. I truly believe the Persian diet to be a very healthy one. Often on hot summer days, my mother serves my father sliced Persian cucumbers, feta cheese, bread and herbs. If we don’t have cucumbers, she substitutes watermelons slices or grapes. My father enjoys these simple meals just as much as most labor intensive ones she prepares for him.

So today, I was inspired to serve a salad with slices of Persian cucumbers, watermelon, pineapples,  feta cheese and fresh herbs. I’m glad I did because not only was this salad delicious but really assisted in cooling down our body temperature on this hot summer day. We finished the entire salad and I have been asked to make it again tomorrow! I had to be sarcastic and sigh: "What? Salad again!"
Enjoy this salad recipe as either a main course, appetizer or side dish.  You will find it easy to make, delicious and satisfying


Serves 4
Ingredient amounts can be modified to suit your personal taste

4 Persian Cucumbers; washed and chopped into bite size pieces with skin
2 cups of bite size pieces of watermelon
1 cup of bite size pineapple chunks
1/2 cup thinly sliced purple onion
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh herbs such as mint or basil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 teaspoon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
** Pita chips to serve on the side or as croutons on top of the salad.
In a large salad bowl, toss well together the above ingredients, with the exception of feta cheese.  Prior to serving, crumble feta cheese on top. If using Pita Chips, roughly crush and sprinkle on top or serve on the side.
Enjoy!

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