One of our favourite chefs is Bon Appetit's former food director, Carla Lalli Music. Her recent cookbook,That Sounds So Good, inspired our own Spicy Cucumber Watermelon Peanut Salad recipe. It promises a late summer bit of heat, and a cool, sweet n' sour crunch. Peanuts roasted in olive oil are a special homage to an Asian flavours.
1/2 small watermelon, ends trimmed and cut vertically, rind removed (3 cups)
6 small cucumbers, cold, unpeeled
1/2 red onion, peeled, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Key Lime white balsamic
1 tsp Chipotle olive oil
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp Kosher salt for onion marinade; 1 tsp salt for roasted peanuts
1 cup peeled, unblanched (not roasted) peanuts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Persian Lime olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce
Option: Add 1/2 tsp Sumac
In small bowl add onion, salt, sugar, Chipotle oil and white balsamic. Stir until onions are completely covered and let stand for one hour. In small pot, add extra virgin olive oil. Heat until shimmering. Add peanuts and roast for 3 minutes until barely golden brown. Overcooking will cause the peanuts to be bitter. Remove peanuts from pot with small strainer and place in bowl with peanuts still lightly coated in cooking oil from pot. Add salt and sugar, then toss until completely coated. Set aside to cool. Cut peeled watermelon in 1 to 2 inch pieces. With a rolling pin smash cucumber. Cut cucumber in bit-sized pieces. The extra surface area will soak up the dressing better than slices or cubes. In a large bowl add watermelon, cucumber, onions, dressing, half of the peanuts. and remaining ingredients. Toss well. Let rest for 5 minutes, garnish with remaining peanuts, then serve immediately with crusty bread or as a side.
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