Fireworks, flip-flops and fun. Is there anything not to love about the Fourth of July? (Correct answer: Nope!) Wherever you go, you smell barbeques, hear laughing, and see the sky light up with fireworks. From the backyard to the park down the road, everyone gets together to eat, drink, and be merry in the long-awaited sunshine. Whether you’re hosting this year’s festivities or going elsewhere, why not make a delectable dish that’s as easy to make as it is to eat?
I came across this recipe in Melia Marden’s cookbook, Modern Mediterranean, and loved its refreshing, summertime flavors. Take it to your holiday hangout and everyone will be returning for seconds, and maybe thirds! Depending on the size of your Fourth of July shindig, you can increase the size of this recipe as many times as needed.
For the dressing:
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. sugar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
For the salad:
2 medium cucumbers
½ small seedless watermelon
2 large stalks celery
5 red radishes
¼ cup roughly chopped parsley
¼ tsp. kosher salt (or more to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper
- In a small bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar, kosher salt and sugar for the dressing. Mix well to dissolve the salt and sugar, then whisk in the olive oil until incorporated.
- Peel the cucumbers and slice in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut the rest into slices ¼ inch thick.
- Cut the watermelon into 1 inch cubes, and discard the rind (you should have about 3 cups per recipe.)
- Peel the outside of the celery. Trim each end of the stalks, and cut into ¼ inch crescents. Reserve about ½ cup of the pale, tender celery leaves from the top, and coarsely chop them.
- Trim off and discard the ends of the radishes, and cut them into thin rounds. If you have a Mandoline veggie slicer, you may want to pull it out.
- In a bowl, combine the cucumbers, watermelon, celery, celery leaves and radishes. Drizzle with dressing and toss.
- (Optional, but encouraged) Taste test.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss again and serve.
What about a healthy take on some festive beverages? While sangria is delicious, it can be full of sugar and other ingredients that aren’t so health conscious. A great way to make this yummy drink a little lighter is to use kombucha, a slightly fermented, sweetened black tea filled with helpful probiotics. Swapping in kombucha not only takes down the calorie count, but also boosts digestion (so it’s basically a win-win.) If you’ve never had it, give it a try on its own or in what may be the world’s easiest (and healthiest) sangria recipe.
Red, Wine and Blue Sangria
1 bottle of red wine, like Pinot Noir
1 bottle of Trilogy flavored Synergy brand kombucha
1 bottle of white wine, Pinot Grigio and Sauvingion Blanc are my favorites
1 bottle ginger, peach OR mango flavored kombucha
Juice from ½ lemon
Pour into a pitcher and mix. Make it a little more festive by garnishing with ice cubes frozen with blueberries and chopped strawberries, or tossing in sliced fresh fruit.
Check out these other great posts:
- The Ultimate Anti-Inflammatory Salad
- The Best Summer Recipe – Watermelon Salad
- Thai Curry Shrimp – The Best Summer Recipe