we celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago, not with some blowout dinner or glasses of bubbly, but in a sea-breezy field on a couple of adirondack chairs with 2 crisp beers, just me and frank, and our pup, Quint. we had kind of intended to do nothing since we're planning to take a celebratory trip later on in the year, but going back to where we got married, where this whole lindsey and frank thing started turned out to be the best way to ring in the occasion. we stopped by the farm on long island where we got married , had lunch at our favorite spot, and then took Quint for his first (and very apprehensive) swim in the ocean!
it was great reliving that day with similar sights and smells, but with my life partner and all that has come to mean in the past 2 years. it was almost like looking back on that day and thinking about how long ago it felt, how much we were babies then, but also feeling that nothing has really changed. they say the first year of marriage is roses and cupcakes. however, year 2 felt a bit more like that as our first year married was a lot of figuring out some of the dynamics of what being married meant to us as individuals, and finding compromise and balance within that.
excited for year 3? heck yes! for i feel as though these past couple of years, through the arguments and good times, we continue to accept differences, learn each other's language a bit better, and be fiercely in love with one another - flaws and all!
and now i'm going to awkwardly shift gears to this salad! there's a great deal of flavor and texture highlighted in this salad, all while keeping it super light on preparation time. the corn is lightly charred for a bit of smoky flavor, while the squash is peeled into noodles giving the salad some movement and texture. this is a cool and soothing salad, with a sweet and savory flavor, perfect for hot summer days!
mellow melon salad (v + gf)
while i use melon wedges here cantaloupe would be just as delicious, as would watermelon. the leopard melon indicated in the ingredients list is not so easily accessible, and can be substituted for cucumber, as it has a similar taste and texture. this is great served as a side to any meal, or as a hydrating snack during the day.
| serves 4-6 |
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon thyme leaves
- 3 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 small shallot
- salt + pepper
- half of 1 leopard melon (or 1 small cucumber)
- 2 medium summer squash
- 2 ears of corn, shucked
- 2/3 cup grape or cherry heirloom tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped mint
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped lemon thyme
- salt + pepper
- half of 1 cantaloupe or honeydew melon, cut into wedges
- a small handful of mint flowers
- place dressing ingredients in a mini food processor and blend until emulsified. taste and adjust seasoning. store dressing in a lidded jar in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- prepare an ice bath and set aside. peel the skin from the melon (or cucumber) and cut in half lengthwise. using a mandolin, shave each half of the melon and place the pieces in the prepared ice bath to crisp, about 10-15 minutes. drain the melon and place on dishtowel to dry.
- using a julienne peeler (or a mandolin) peel each side of the summer squash until you reach the seedy center. place strands in a large serving bowl and set aside.
- over a gas top stove, light a burner to a low flame. one at a time char the corn cobs rotating with tongs to evenly cook the corn. set aside and allow corn to cool. once cool enough to handle, stand the corn upright; use a large knife to cut the kernels from the cob. repeat with other ear of corn and place kernels in the bowl with the squash.
- to the bowl, add the tomatoes, leopard melon, parsley, mint, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. remove the dressing from the refrigerator and give it a good shake. drizzle a few spoonfuls over the squash noodles, then taste and adjust, adding more dressing if needed.
- slice the cantaloupe or honeydew melon into even wedges, then cut the flesh from the skin. plate wedges and top with the summer squash noodles and mint flowers.