We bought a watermelon at Findlay
Market a while ago, and though we ate some for a lunch of the classic watermelon and feta salad, even a small watermelon takes a lot of using to get used up.
So we decided to grill it as if it
were a steak; teh intertubes described several ways of doing it, but we thought
that the grill-pan would hold in the juices, and we wouldn't need to salt it,
as opinions on that were divided.
In this case, the meat was chosen
to suit the vegetable (fruit, actually): steak for steak.We got out a couple of thick swordfish steaks
and marinated them for about 15 minutes with lemon juice, sumak, and dried
thyme.The thyme burned a little on the
grill pan, but the rest made it savory and moist.
We scraped the pan and, while the
fish rested, grilled thick slabs of watermelon, as you see.It had a big, meaty flavor, less
sweet on the outside, but holding its sugar on the inside. And you could put together a big circle out of watermelon wedges and swordfish wedges, which was almost conceptual art.
We hate to admit it, but classes
begin on Monday.Kathleen
alleviated the angst (slightly) by throwing a party for the whole department
and its friends and connections at her and Steve's house, where we could sit
out on the back deck, chat, sip wine, watch the sun set, and pretend that
summer wasn't over.
Food was provided by Funky's catering, a rather unfortunate name for a solid service. There were brimming platters of grilled
vegetables, salads, hummus, Israeli couscous, "South African ratatouille"
(with cinnamon, apparently), a chafing-dishful of chicken breasts, and good
sliced flank steak in tomatoey sauce.
There were desserts, too, but we
mainly missed them.It was that good a
This title will definitely give you
the wrong idea of the dish, though it's absolutely true.The beans were the garden Romanos and purple
Carminats that are still burgeoning in our garden, the pork was a setup of
scaloppine sliced into strips, and it was a stir-fry, with no tomato sauce
We marinated the pork as usual in
soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and a touch of sugar and white pepper.Then we minced some garlic (which went into
the pork marinade) and some ginger, sliced up a big onion, and cut the beans
into suitable stirfry bits - long for the thinner purple beans, to match the
pork strips, but small for the thicker Romanos.
First, we stir-fried the onions
for a minute or two, added the ginger for a few stirs, then the Romanos, and
finally the purple beans, adding salt to each.When the vedge darkened, we turned down the heat, added a splash of chicken
broth, covered, and let it simmer until even the toughest bit was tender.
Having set that aside, we reheated
the wok to high, stir-fried the pork, then dumped the vedge back in and added a
big sploosh of oyster sauce, tossing to coat and reheat everything.
Nicely balanced, which is just what you want in a
Back when Barbara was on excavation
in Mallorca, the lunch place would occasionally serve tuna salad.Unlike our American mayonnaise version, it
was simply made of crisp lettuce, a couple of wedges of tomato, lots of sliced
sweet onion, and big chunks of oil-soaked canned tuna, dressed with good olive
oil and vinegar.That Spanish simplicity
was our ideal for this evening.
We drained the water from a can of
chunky tuna for Dora's benefit (Lea used to call Dora "the grey
streak" whenever a tuna can opened), and poured in good olive oil to soak
in.But as well as red onion and red and
yellow tomatoes, we threw in garden arugula, New Zealand spinach, whatever
resprouted lettuce we could find, a chopped Zephyr squash, plus Kalamata olives
and artichoke hearts, and tossed with vigor.Okay, we slutted it up - we are American, after all.
On a crisp evening, it made a
perfect outdoor summer meal.
Holt used some of our last year's crop of pesto to make his prizewinning red and green bread wreath. So we used the dregs,
plus the leftover smoked salmon from Sunday's pizza, for this unusual combination.
Just swirled the spaghetti in the pesto,
moistened with a little pasta water, and twirled the sliced smoked salmon on
Italians might be scandalized, but
it was delicious.