As some of you might know, especially if you’re as avid of a reader of her blog as I am, the wonderful Lindsey Love behind Dolly and Oatmeal is expecting a baby boy any day now! Since the first time I stumbled across her space, Lindsey has amazed me, not only because of her delicious recipes and her impeccable aesthetic, but because she brings such a calm, lovely spirit to everything she does — the sense of peace and light that comes through in her blog is exactly the way she is in person, and it’s the kind of aura that makes you want to be around someone, because you come away feeling happier and better yourself. For that reason, it’s been especially wonderful following her blog through this exciting new phase of life — she brings that same peaceful spirit to an experience that can be a whirlwind of so many emotions, in a way that continually inspires.
When Sara and Sonja organized a fête to welcome little Love, this salad struck me as the perfect thing. I recognize that it’s a tad late for a melon salad (this is one that I’ve been meaning to share for some time) but it felt fitting, not only because it’s gluten-free and vegan, but because it was inspired by Lindsey and the bright, vibrant flavors that she brings to her cooking. I wrote a little about discovering chamoe melon earlier this summer — fragrant and delightfully crunchy but just subtly sweet, it has proven to be perfect both in sweet and savory applications. It combines with Persian cucumbers to form the backbone of this salad, and then gets a lively, tangy kick from gently pickled onions adapted from one of Lindsey’s own recipes. A little bit of perilla adds a peppery touch, and finished with a slight earthy savoriness from sesame oil, the result is a light, nourishing salad that has a bit of sweetness, umami, and tart pucker all at once. It’s my best hat tip to Lindsey’s thoughtful and creative cooking.
I know it’s said often, but I truly can’t imagine two better people to bring a little one into this world than Lindsey and Frank (not to mention a better big brother than Quint). So very overjoyed and excited for you, Lindsey, and thinking of you in this home stretch!
- for the pickled onions:
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp Korean apple vinegar (or regular apple cider vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 shallot or 2-3 pearl onions, sliced thin
- for the rest:
- 2 cups diced cucumber (I prefer Persian cucumbers for their fresh crunch)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 cups cubed Korean chamoe melon or honeydew
- 1-2 teaspoons apple vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil (just a few drops)
- 1-2 perilla leaves, torn or chopped fine
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- An hour or well ahead: Make the pickled onions by combining the water, apple vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small saucepan and bringing it to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and let simmer gently for 5 minutes. Add the onions, then remove from heat and let sit for an hour before refrigerating or using in the salad.
- About 30 minutes ahead: Place the cucumbers in a small bowl and sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt over them. Let sit for 30 minutes, refrigerated, to draw out the water.
- Drain the cucumbers and pat dry. Add the onions (drained of brine), cubed melon, apple vinegar, sesame oil, and perilla leaves and toss until well-combined. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately. Enjoy!