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The sweltering days of summer are here again and that means it’s time to start eWatermelon salad3njoying foods that cool us down and quench our thirst. My favorite summer food is watermelon, which conjures up plenty of fun warm-weather memories from my youth. I still enjoy a good watermelon in the summer, but now that I have a more mature palate, I like to create new and unique-tasting dishes in which watermelon’s flavor shines. My current favorite dish is a salad with watermelon, sweet onions, and feta cheese. Although it might sound oxymoronic to combine these ingredients together, the end result is simply scrumptious!

Watermelon isn’t just a fun fruit to eat; it also boasts multiple health benefits. Its Vitamin A and lycopene help reduce inflammation that contributes to such conditions as asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis. Plus, just one cup of watermelon provides almost a quarter of the recommended daily value for Vitamin C.

So in addition to reminding you of a simpler time during summer vacations, eating watermelon pleases your senses and provides healthful nutrients for your body. Whatever the occasion — whether it’s a picnic, pool party, or any lazy summer day — this recipe from Paula Deen is a refreshing side dish perfect to help combat the heat of summer.

Watermelon Salad

Ingredients:

1 5-pound watermelon

1 Vidalia or other sweet onion

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:

Cut the flesh from the watermelon and cut into bite-size pieces, removing and discarding the seeds, and set aside. Peel and slice the onion into thin rings.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, and pepper and whisk until salt is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, a few drops at a time. Taste and adjust seasonings, as appropriate.

In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, onion and feta. Pour the dressing over the mixture and toss gently until everything is coated and evenly mixed.

Enjoy!

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