Sometimes I think that my son's general food pickiness is almost worse than his specific food allergies. Obviously the pickiness isn't as dangerous, but sometimes it's more annoying. For example, he won't eat apples, but he will eat applesauce as long as the applesauce has been warmed to room temperature if it's been refrigerated.
Along with my refusal to cook multiple meals anymore, this can lead to a few problems at dinnertime. Our one rule is that he doesn't have to eat everything on his plate, but that he does have to try everything on it and do it without making gagging noises. (Of course, just when I think my child doesn't appreciate me, this happens.)
So when I started eyeing watermelon and cucumber recipes that contained red onion and red vinegar, I knew it was going to be a tough sell. I tried making a salad that was more kid friendly by using green onions and lemon juice balanced with a little agave, as well as sprinkling a light dusting of finely ground white instead of freshly ground black pepper. As a final measure, I saved out a small bowl of plain watermelon, just in case my kiddo rejected the salad anyway.
Guess what? He made a face and ate the plain watermelon instead. I'll still be making this perfect summer side dish again, though. Next time the flavors won't be such a surprise and my kiddo might even eat a second bite.
Watermelon Cucumber Salad
(Click here for printable recipe.)
2-3 C cubed or balled watermelon (about ⅛ melon)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced
2 green onions, white and light green sections finely sliced
2-3 Tbs finely sliced fresh basil
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs agave or honey
¼ tsp kosher salt
pinch of ground white pepper
Prepare watermelon, cucumber, green onions and basil, and combine in a large bowl. Measure lemon juice, olive oil, agave, salt and pepper into a small bowl and whisk together. Immediately before serving, toss dressing with salad. Adjust seasonings if desired.
I'm sharing my refreshing summer salad with: