Just Eat a Melon

The Oakland summer is much to chilly then for the likes of my skinny frame. Things do seem to be heating up, however not enough for me to experience any overheating in my 20 degree sleeping bag at night. California, you tricked me (San Diego, you spoiled me, more like).

Started my first day in the Caracao Chocolate Company’s kitchen last friday. I can now refer to myself as a ‘chocolatier’ a privilege I am still debating taking advantage of. The company founders are a couple of great people who got their start as dessert chefs at the now infamous Cafe Gratitude. A wonderful and philanthropic raw dining chain that has struggled to develop loving kindness as a viable business model. Coracao’s Mathew and Daniel have since moved on to tackle the high end chocolate market. I am in charge of the vegan chocolate milk arm of this operation. A decadent elixir that has farmer’s market samplers moaning, “So that’s why a bottle is 6 bucks, so… what else are you sampling” No hard feelings, it is pricey stuff.

I’ll post the recipe for the above milk in the days to come but since summer is in full swing I thought I’d feature a fresh and easy summer salad.

Mellow Melon Salad:

Ingredients:
Salad:
– 1 cucumber diced into cubes
– 2 large Heirlooms diced into cubes
– 1 Melon balled or diced into cubes (cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, or a mix)
– Kernels of 2 ears sweet corn
– 1 Avocado pitted and cubed
– 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
– 2 tablespoon chopped mint
Dressing:
– 1 Teaspoon honey or agave syrup
– 1 Teaspoon lime juice
– 2 Teaspoon Apple cider vinegar

Preparation:

Dice cucumber, tomato, and melon and set aside in a colander to drain for about 30 minutes. While that is happening whisk together dressing in a small bowl.

Next cut the kernel off the corn and toss them with the mint and parsley in a big bowl (this will be the bowl you will pour the rest of your salad fixing in). Mix the cucumber, melon, and tomato with corn and herbs and set the bowl until fridge until ready to serve.

Right before it is time to eat this bad boy, toss with the dressing and a freshly diced avocado. The aroma will will your BBQ guests to drop bratwursts, burgers, and tofu dogs to indulge a more honest deep seated primal urge to feast on some raw fruits.

As long as dwellin’ on the swellness of a local market melon, I’ll mention some good news. The Oakland Children’s Hospital has agreed to let People’s Grocery continue its farmers market on the premises though out the duration of the summer. This is a substantial foot in the door for pursuing more ambitious efforts aimed at integrating locally sourced produce into the hospital cafeteria (an effort still viewed by hospital higher-ups as a liability dew to irregularity of the availability of the produce in question). Sadly it is much easier for untrained cooks to call up Cisco Foods and get a bulk order of 300 tomato’s of uniform size and color then deal with a box of deliciously irregular heirlooms. Our solution… TRAIN THE CHEFS!!! We are currently in talks with the hospital to do just that.

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