Baking… and Watermelon Salad

Yesterday I was a baking fool.  I am not sure what came over me.  Why the sudden urge to spend the morning in the kitchen baking?  Was it the feeling of Fall in the air?  The sun taking its sweet time rising?  The renewal of a passion?

If I were starting a little baking business I could say I was testing recipes for my small, succinct menu,  a repertoire of maybe 10 choices.  Beyond the regular menu, there’d always be a surprise, a special of the day, with  flavor so big, it would knock your socks off.  Other times it would be more subtle, a flavor that creeps up and taps you on the shoulder . There would be a moment of truth as you realize you’ve just tasted something extraordinary.  It tastes so good you desire more, but you restrain yourself  so the law of diminishing returns can’t set in.  You’ll wait until that particular special is offered another day so you can savor the surprise all over again.  If I had a little baking business that is.

An assertive ginger cake, a savory onion tart, an Italian prune torte bursting with those ripe prune plums coming into season right now, and a crisp puff pastry filled with velvety chocolate.  Those were my morning bakes, yesterday.  I plan to share the recipes sometime but not now.  Instead my focus is on a refreshing watermelon salad that is a piece of cake to make.

This recipe is inspired by a salad my sister’s girlfriend recently brought to a dinner party.  Not having a recipe in hand, I came up with this. (to bring to a dinner party.)

Watermelon Salad

Watermelon, 6-7 pounds,  cut in 1 to 2 inch chunks

1/2 medium red onion, sliced

1/2 cup-1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in half

juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons olive oil

a drop or two of Sriracha chili sauce or a crumbled small, dried red chile (totally optional)

a pinch of salt

fresh cilantro to taste (and as garnish)

Put watermelon chunks, sliced olives and onions in a medium-sized serving bowl.  Mix lime juice with olive oil and optional chile. Add a pinch of salt.  Pour over the watermelon.  Add cilantro. Lightly toss all ingredients together.   Cover and refrigerate until meal time.   Garnish with more cilantro.  Serve.

Save any leftovers.  The salad is even more delicious the next day.

FYI, If your diet includes dairy and you love cheese, crumble feta or cotija atop the salad.