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I'm Crystal Vaughn

a classically trained chef taking holistic plant-based nutrition on a grand adventure through North America. When I’m not creating in our traveling kitchen, you can usually find me on my yoga mat or a hiking trail.

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This week you are getting two recipes for the price of one (a.k.a. free).  Both recipes spotlight some of my favorite summer ingredients: watermelon, lime and mint.

First, we have a deliciously refreshing twist on the traditional caprese salad.  A watermelon caprese with tofu mozzarella in a lime-mint vinaigrette.  This is summer on a plate.

I was recently dining at my favorite little farm-to-table restaurant in Pittsburgh and a friend of mine ordered the watermelon salad.  I was pleasantly surprised at the flavor combination of the watermelon and tomatoes.  I thought it would also work wonderfully in a caprese style salad.

This salad comes together very easy.  You just slice the tomatoes, cut the watermelon, cut and ‘brine’ the tofu and mix up the dressing. 

It could be served many different ways.  As a stacked salad (like what I have done here), or just chop everything up and toss together, you could also put it on skewers for a nice little hor d’oeuvre.

Don't forget to check out the granita recipe below!

Watermelon Caprese in a Lime-Mint Vinaigrette
Serves 3 to 6 (meal or appetizer)

INGREDIENTS

1 package tofu

1 tbsp lemon juice

2-3 cups of watermelon

2 large tomatoes (I used one red and one golden)

1 tbsp fresh mint, minced

Zest of 1 lime

Juice of 2 limes

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Arugula or other greens for serving

Salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cut tofu into slices of desired shape.  Cover with lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt.  Set aside for about 30 minutes.

2. Cut tomatoes and watermelon into desired shapes and sizes.  I recommend cutting the tofu, watermelon and tomato into similar sizes.

3. In a small bowl mix together fresh mint, lime zest, lime juice, white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

4. Toss the arugula (or greens of choice) with about half of the vinaigrette and arrange at the bottom of the plate or bowl.

5. Next arrange the tofu, watermelon and tomatoes by either stacking them or tossing them all together.

6. Pour the remaining vinaigrette over the salad.  

The next recipe I want to share with you is kind of like a fresh snow cone.  Now do I have your attention?  It does take a little bit of time but the effort is minimal and it is totally worth it. 

This recipe uses some of the same ingredients highlighted in the caprese.  All you really need to do to make a granita is to blend all of your ingredients together (the watermelon, mint and lime juice), pour into a shallow dish and scrape with a fork every hour or so until frozen and a snow cone like texture is achieved.  Typically about 4 hours is enough.  Unless, you have added alcohol and then it takes a bit longer.  You may need to continue with the process for 5 or 6 hours.  I’ll save the cocktail recipes for a later date.  If you are interested in this version sooner rather than later please let me know in the comment section! 

I apologize if you received three different emails with the last newsletter.  I hope these two recipes make up for the Chantarelle Fricasée recipe stalking your inbox.

Watermelon Granita
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

6 or 7 cups of watermelon
1 lime
2 tbsp fresh mint, loosely packed

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Zest the lime with a microplane or small grater.  Only zest the green part.  Then juice the lime.

2. In a blender, add watermelon, mint, lime juice and zest.  Blend until everything is very smooth and liquidy. 

3.  Pour into a shallow dish.  I used a 9x9 pyrex.  Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and put in the freezer.  

4. Check the granita at hour intervals (the first hour can be skipped because no a lot will happen that quickly).  Pull it out of the freezer, remove the cover and scrape with a fork.  Make sure you scrape all along the sides, since this is where it will freeze first.  

5. Return to freezer and repeat for about 4 hours or until there is no more liquid and it resembles a shaved ice.  

6. Serve in glasses or bowls with a sprig of mint on top.


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The information on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any health condition or disease. It does not replace medical advice from a licensed professional.