We all know that local food is easy to find in Chapelboro. Ever since moving here from the eastern part of the state in 2009, I have been overwhelmed with the quality and variety of fresh, local produce easily available to me through CSAs and the number of year-round farmer’s markets that operate in the area. At no time is that more the case than summer, when the markets overflow with berries, tomatoes, corn, watermelon, okra, and countless other beautiful fruits and vegetables.
Being tempted by the beauty of the variety of foods available doesn’t mean that I always know what I want to do with the bounty in front me, though. In years past, that often meant that I admired but didn’t purchase, concerned that the food would waste away in my fridge while I attempted to figure out what to do with it. This year, however, my husband and I joined the CSA from Granite Springs Farm in Pittsboro for the first time. While the CSA means we get super fresh local produce from week to week, it also means that we get whatever is being grown and is ripe with no control over what is in our bag each week. I imagine that a lot of my neighbors find themselves in similar situations, thinking “I have all this great food, now what do I do with it?” To help you out, I will be sharing the recipes that I come up with to make sure none of that food goes bad.
This week, I was inspired by the colors and sweetness of the sungold cherry tomatoes that came in my bag. I came home from work hot and tired and not much in the mood to stand over a stove. Surveying my fridge, I had some watermelon that I purchased at the Carrboro Farmer’s Market this past weekend, as well as some arugula and Chapel Hill Creamery pheta cheese, and I had the idea of this salad. The tart sungolds and juicy, sweet watermelon are complemented by the peppery arugula, salty pheta, and a bright squeeze of lime to tie it all together. This comes together quickly (prep included, it takes about 20 minutes), and is a refreshing accompaniment to leftover chicken for a fast dinner, or a light lunch.
Watermelon and Tomato Salad
3 cups arugula
2 cups watermelon, chopped into bite-sized cubes
1 ½ cups tomato, halved if using cherry tomatoes or chopped if using slicing or beefsteak tomatoes
¾ cups Chapel Hill Creamery pheta, chopped into small cubes
Juice of ½ a lime
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse and dry arugula. Combine arugula, watermelon, tomato, and lime juice into a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Spoon into two bowls. Top with pheta, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.