Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Taste of Summer- Sweet/Savory Fruit Salad and a Southern Maine Adventure.

My extended family (including a few family members and many "should be family members" friends) took a trip recently to our favorite "BYO-everything but lobster" joint in Kittery point, Maine for father's day. The forecast in Boston called for unrelenting heat and possible thunderstorms, but Southern Maine was expected to have a lovely day in the high seventies. The group of 13 of us (Plus 3 dogs) caravaned out at 2pm, coolers loaded up with bread and cheese and hummus and crackers, and between the group of us not one but 4 salads (shepard's salad, corn and bean salad, an eggplant salad from The Family Resteraunt in Brookline, and my own watermelon-herb salad featured today). We arrived at the pier, snagged one of the only tables available, which happened to be under no cover whatsoever, and began to unpack. Tablecloths first, then out came the wine glasses and wine was poured for nearly everyone, then the cheeses and bread, chips, crackers and hummus, dishes of water for the dogs, we settled in as always as if we lived there.

It was hotter than the forecast had predicted, and temperatures near 90 and hot sun started to threaten the comfort of our planned perfect afternoon. Then it started to pour. We scrambled to put our food and belongings under cover of the giant picnic table, then ran to protect ourselves under the giant tent that sheilded the tables on the right side of the pier from the elements. It was a Sunday, and a holiday, and the place was pretty packed. There were not any tables to switch to in either of the covered areas. We asked our server if we would be able to switch when a table came available, and she checked with a manager and said it would be fine. Of course this isn't the first time we had been rained on out there, in fact we often joke about how we have gone to this outdoor establishment in every type of weather and still enjoyed ourselves. Rain, Sun, Cold, bring it on! We were cheerful to be spending time together as a group, and to be in such a beautiful part of the world, about to eat an abundance of fresh lobster and clams mere yards from where they may have been caught.

Luckily the rain subsided fairly quickly and we returned to our table, resetting it with tablecloths etc and opptimistically hoping the rain was over with for good. Of course it was not. At least the second time around the rain was more of a "heavy-shower" and less of a torrential downpour. We sat at our table, trying to be good sports, eating and getting rained on. The second rain cleared up quickly as well, and instead of leaving the air cooler and more comfortable, it was then hotter than ever, and in the direct sun many of us started to feel dizzy and sick from the heat. A table undercover had finally opened up. We asked if we could move to it and then started bringing over our food. (There is more to this story that involves getting yelled at mercilessly by the owner's son who has an awful temper, who said we couldn't move because that table was "reserved" even though they supposedly don't take reservations...but in the interest of keeping this short and semi-sweet I think I won't go into that).

Anyway, despite all the weather related setbacks (and even the wrath of the breifly mentioned owner's son) we enjoyed our day, and our lobster. Don't we all look cheerful (and dry) in this picture taken when we first arrived?

Watermelon-Herb Salad
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine*
Half of a large watermelon, cut into even cubes
1-2 Tablespoons each fresh chopped mint, basil and dill
1 lb of chopped heirloom tomatoes (I used 1 container of Trader joes mini heirlooms, each cut in half)
3 Naval Oranges, sliced into slivers, membrane cut off
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup sliced almonds, slightly toasted
1 1/2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

*Note: changes I have made to this recipe include removing the arugala originally called for (I had to make mine far in advance and didn't want wilty greens, so I cut them out all together) as well as removing the olive oil called for, and adding the addition of the naval oranges. The picture posted at the top of my salad does not include the toasted almonds, which with the chaos of the rain starting, I forgot to add in time for the picture!

I loved the fresh flavors of this salad, and my taste-testing roommates agreed it tasted like "pure summer". The best part? What could be easier to bring to a potluck, picnic or lobster pier?


  1. Hey Hannah, I just found this blog of yours! The food looks delicious--I miss you guys and hope the next time I get to see you I can try something you've made!

  2. It was indeed a delicious salad! And Joy, come with us next time!