August 3 is National Watermelon Day!

Yes, there is indeed a National Watermelon Day -- and it's today, August 3!

To celebrate, here’s a melon salad perfect for the hot summer days.  Double it, pack the dressing separately and serve it at a picnic or at the beach in a large hollowed out watermelon half.  It’s also fun for a light brunch.  I serve it with my Smoked Salmon Blinis…and a Mimosa, of course!

Summer Melon Melange is perfect for hot summer days

SUMMER MELON MELANGE
Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS:
4 Cups each, cut into small cubes:
Watermelon
Cantaloupe
Honeydew

4- 5 Tablespoons each, roughly chopped:
Fresh Mint
Fresh Basil
Fresh Celery Leaves

DIRECTIONS:
Cut the melons into bite-sized cubes, roughly chop the mint, basil and celery leaves and combine in a large bowl.

Ingredients for the Melon Melange dressing

Dressing:
1 T Agave Syrup
2 T Watermelon Juice (from the cubed pieces)
2 t. Celery Bitters
2 T Lime Olive Oil
1 T Fresh Lime Juice

Whisk the dressing ingredients together and toss into melon mixture.

I like to top my Summer Melon Melange with crispy pancetta.  If you omit the pancetta, be sure to serve it with plenty of my favorite finishing salt, Maldon.  Serve room temperature or chilled.

Crispy pancetta is a perfect topping for the Melon Melange salad

Cook’s Notes: Bitters are a liquid concentrated extraction of plants, herbs or seeds traditionally used in cocktails.  Celery Bitters add a truly unique flavor here, particularly paired with the watermelon.  

I like the traditional cantaloupe and honeydew with the watermelon but there are many more exotic melons available now in most markets.  Or truly celebrate National Watermelon Day and use only watermelon.

What type of melons are your favorite? Let me know how you like this salad -- perfect for an August afternoon!