In June 1998 I ran my first marathon. My best friend and I hopped on a flight to San Diego after training for 3 months with the Atlanta chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program. The training was rigorous. The race was the inaugural Rock n Roll marathon which has since become infamous for a number of reasons. 1) It was hot. Reeeeeeally hot. 2) It started late, complicating the heat issue and also causing ridiculous lines for the bathrooms at the start. 3) They ran out of water at the first several water stops because more runners than usual took water at the early stops due to the late start. Not an auspicious beginning, eh? Actually, as a first time marathoner none of it mattered much to me. I was on a high from the first step to the last and had a terrific race. Yet after the race, after burning thousands of calories and able to justify ANY indulgence, I oddly wanted only one thing. Watermelon. Thank God for room service! To this day, it seems when I’m really hot (and probably a little dehydrated as well), I crave watermelon! It’s the perfect food for a summer day – hydrating, naturally sweet, and cold. Yum.
Then, last summer, when I’d just had a baby and was melting in July heat, my friend Kathleen brought dinner for our family. The main course was grilled chicken with watermelon salsa and it was amazing! I loved the contrast of this cool and crunchy salsa against the savory chicken. It took watermelon to another level altogether. Kathleen graciously shared the recipe with me so that I could share it with you.
Don’t have any marathons or babies in your immediate future? Me neither. But I do plan to make this salsa…often…this summer. I hope you will too.
2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed, seeded watermelon
1 cup (1/2-inch) peeled, ripe mango
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp finely chopped seeded jalapeno (If the seeds touch your hands, wash them immediately before touching your eyes!)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir gently to combine.
2. Serve over grilled chicken.