Labor Day picnics and family reunions beg something wonderful to bring. If you want to wow everyone, make a watermelon salad. And it’s just so easy! The following adaptable, changeable recipe is based on three of our favorite summer flavors – watermelon, peaches, and ripe tomatoes. Combined in this salad, they speak end of summer and celebration. You salt the watermelon and tomatoes first. Just before serving, add the peaches, and pile the fruit on top of your favorite lettuce, and sprinkle with oil, vinegar, and fresh herbs. Garnish with feta and almonds. You can serve on individual plates, or pile onto a large platter to feed 8. If you don’t have the basil or mint, use dill or parsley. And if you don’t have feta, use cubes of fresh mozzarella. In a hurry? Drizzle with one of our Old Mill favorite salad dressings.
- 6 cups seedless watermelon chunks, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 cups good, ripe heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
- ½ to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups sliced, peeled ripe peaches
- 6 cups fresh arugula or your favorite salad greens
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or basil, or a combination
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
- Place the watermelon and tomatoes in a mixing bowl and season with salt. Toss to coat, and let the fruit sit for 30 minutes. Drain well.
- Fold the peaches into the watermelon and tomato mixture. To serve, spoon the fruit on top of the salad greens. Drizzle with oil and vinegar. Garnish the top with chopped fresh herbs, feta cheese, and toasted almonds.
When summer blackberries and blueberries arrive in the mountains, well, it’s a signal that summer is really here. If you didn’t know from the heat and the lines in front of the Creamery, you surely know summer is here when berries come into season.
Berries used to grow wild in vacant lots and along fences, and you had to brave the chiggers to wander into those weeds to pluck wild blackberries. You can still find them, but most of the berries we are eating here in the Smokies are grown by local farmers.
A great way to use them is this easy pie called a crisp. No crust is needed. You just pile the fruit and sugar into a baking dish or iron skillet, and then top with a crumbly mixture of oats, flour, sugar, and butter. It bakes up into a heavenly rite of summer passage – something to enjoy with vanilla ice cream.
- 1 teaspoon soft butter for greasing the skillet
- 4 cups fresh blackberries
- 3 cups sliced fresh peaches
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1½ cups light brown sugar
- 1½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 1 cup Old Mill Thick Table Rolled Oats
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Rub a 12-inch cast iron skillet with the butter. Toss the fruit with the sugar to combine, and turn the fruit into the skillet. Set aside.
- Make the topping: Place the brown sugar, flour, salt, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and stir. Scatter the butter over the top and cut into the dry ingredients with two dinner
knifesuntil it forms coarse crumbs. Fold in the oats. With your hands, crumble this mixture over the top of the fruit. Place the pan in the oven.
- Bake until the topping is golden brown, and the fruit mixture is
about 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. bubbly,