This is an interesting summer. I’ve been working with a collaborator at a university that is (approximately) 90 minutes away from my current institution and home. We are running a nine-week summer research program for undergraduates and are working on our own projects too. Due to what would be a very exhausting and expensive commute for me, he and his wife are being unbelievably generous. We’re now effectively summer roommates–living together, having meals together, coordinating drop offs and pick ups of their eight-year-old from summer camps, etc.
I think things are going smoothly, but (for me at least) joining a family, especially one with a child, for lack of a better word can be weird. There’s a rhythm, a schedule, a set of rules and traditions to which you’re undoubtedly unaccustomed. And we all know that the last adjectives I’d use to describe my current life are “scheduled” and “consistent”. So there’s just a mini-culture shock happening.
Anyway, again you may be asking what the hell this has to do with food. Couple of things. First, there’s this “schedule” thing. I’m now eating dinner at a regular time, because the child has a regular bed time. That means that meals have to be quick-to-make (at least if it’s my day to cook). That’s a special culinary challenge I normally don’t have. But then, there’s the list of taboo ingredients. I’m remarkably lucky that I have zero food allergies. That is not the case with my roommates. The list of ingredients we cannot use (for one reason or another) includes dairy, yeast/gluten, legumes, salmon, tuna, and certain nuts. I have to say it’s amazing how creative (and tasty, for that matter) the meals have been. But when it’s my turn in the kitchen, I’ve had to spend a LOT more time thinking about what to cook.
So here’s one meal that is quick to make, and which satisfies any list of food allergies. It’s great for summer too. My only “complaint” is that it would be nice to have some crunch–maybe next time I’ll use almonds or walnuts. But it’s a VERY minor complaint. Enjoy!
WATERMELON TOMATO SALAD
- Red onion
- Red wine vinegar
- Olive oil
- Cut the watermelon into bite-sized pieces. Dice the red onion finely. Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Throw into a bowl and keep cold.
- Approximately 5-minutes before serving, mix the red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Toss in the bowl of cold veg/fruit, and serve immediately.