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chili lime cucumber noodles on salted watermelon w/ mint + basil


IT IS. So hot. We celebrated the first weekend of summer pretty hard, so some raw and fresh fare is much needed this week for other reasons–so that we can go about the day a little lighter, a little more energetic, a little more hydrated, maybe even sleep a tiny shred better. Oh, and a little less on the reeking of bourbon front would be awesome too, thanks.

So yeah. This week’s been a little more quiet and calm with plenty of fresh food. I’ve been sinking into a lovely new magazine called Good Company in the mornings (when it’s still cool + lovely) with coffee or an earl grey, and I happened to stumble onto a little piece on the Green Kitchen Stories crew and some of their favourite kitchen items. There was a charming drawing of this little notched peeler. I scanned over the description and saw “life changing,” sort of half believing it… But seriously? If you spend a five’r on anything this summer, maybe you should make it a julienne peeler. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m all about #fancyladylunch with noodle-y vegetables lately. It just feels so irresistibly clever. A couple seconds of peeling and you have a bowl full of noodles that won’t make your stomach feel grossly full. The flavour building potential is kind of neat too. Lots of possibility.

In the magazine there’s a beautiful zucchini noodle and pesto dish, but I’ve been feeling these cucumber ones the most. They’re so hydrating and crunchy. A little sweetness, chipotle powder for heat, plenty of salt, pepper and lime juice. There’s barely a slick of oil and heaps of arugula, mint and basil. Avocado and pumpkin seeds fill the tangle out. Then you toss the whole thing and drop it on top of a sea-salted wedge of cool watermelon, which acts like a dessert-y afterthought when the noodles are gone, all completely juicy from the salt and extra lime. I kind of feel refreshed just talking about it. Anyway, summer! Days of beaches, bike rides and walking out back to pick dinner at the end of it all. Go after it, friends :)

chili lime cucumber noodles on salted watermelon w/ mint + basil
serves: 2
notes: If you don’t want to spring for a julienne peeler (I use this Zyliss one), just use a regular vegetable peeler for some beautiful ribbons of cucumber instead. Also, when making the noodles, I usually stop just short of the center where all of the seeds are.

2 flat pieces of watermelon, about 1 inch thick
juice of 1 lime, divided
chipotle chili powder, to taste (or other variety of chili powder)
fat pinch of flaky sea salt, divided
1 english cucumber, peeled into noodles with a julienne peeler
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
little squeeze of raw honey or agave nectar
2-3 handfuls of arugula
2 sprigs of mint, leaves chopped + extra to garnish
3 sprigs of basil, leaves chopped + extra to garnish
1 ripe avocado, peeled + diced
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
ground black pepper

Place the watermelon wedges on two plates. Sprinkle them with a bit of the lime juice, some salt and chipotle powder. Set aside.

Combine the cucumber noodles in a large bowl with the remaining lime juice, more salt + chipotle powder, olive oil, honey/agave, arugula, mint and basil. Toss to evenly mix. Divide the noodles between the 2 plates, placing them on top of the watermelon. Garnish the noodles with the avocado, pumpkin seeds and some fresh pepper. Serve with lime wedges if you like. Eat immediately.

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Alissa @ Big Eats tiny kitchen26/06/2013 - 7:05 am

Yum!!! Love salted watermelon. Love cucumber noodles. Genius combo!!! Looks like the perfect summer meal.

Emma Galloway26/06/2013 - 7:06 am

LOVE this recipe so much!!! Everything about it screams summer. Yum. I bought one of those julienne peelers about 10 years ago in some dodgy back-street shop in Thailand and always wished I had bought more. Thankfully they are pretty easy to come by nowadays without having to make a trip to Thailand… although who am I kidding, a trip there sounds wonderful to escape winter down-under ;-)

Suzanne26/06/2013 - 7:20 am

Beautiful post! I love noodle veggies :)

thelittleloaf26/06/2013 - 8:25 am

I am LONGING for summer to arrive here in the UK – eating beautiful salads, seasonal fruit, ODing on asparagus (while it lasts)but still no sunshine! Maybe July will be our month and if it is, I’m eating this for lunch. I’ve made noodles with courgettes before but never cucumber – definitely something to try!

Harriet26/06/2013 - 8:27 am

Oh – this just looks so. good. Summers get pretty hot here (in Australia, where it’s winter at the moment), so this recipe is going straight to the top of my summer recipe list! I love the idea of salty limey watermelon at the end!

Cyndi26/06/2013 - 8:46 am

Your Photos Are GORGEOUS as is this Recipe…..Thanks Again!

Amanda26/06/2013 - 8:54 am

Yum, this looks amazing! I never would have thought to julienne cucumbers for noodles. Officially on the must make list.

Jen @ Savory Simple26/06/2013 - 9:25 am

You are officially my newest blog crush. Stunning work here!

Kelly Brisson26/06/2013 - 9:25 am

This is so lovely, Laura. I’ve vowed to get all the ingredients (including the peeler)and make it ASAP. xo

Alex26/06/2013 - 9:29 am

We picked up one of those peelers after Love&Lemons mentioned it — it’s incredible! Adding shredded carrots to salads is about 500 times more fun than chopped :)

Happy Summer!

Christina26/06/2013 - 9:42 am

I love zucchini noodles in the summer but I never thought to make cucumber noodles. My zucchini noodles tend to get a bit “wet” when I spiralize them so I’m definitely going to try these out. They look delicious!

petal and plume26/06/2013 - 11:00 am

way to use the best of summer’s bounty! this recipe is fabulous
xx

Ashley26/06/2013 - 11:05 am

Marry me? This is so amazingly creative. Too bad I demolished the entire watermelon I had in 1.5 days. Must replenish! I’ve blended watermelon + cucumber before into a juice-smoothie [try it!] which was awesome, so I know these flavors will totally work. Also, LOVE the photo of you sitting in the grass. Gorgeous.

Margarita Larrazabal26/06/2013 - 11:39 am

the combination of summer abundance in this dish is so lovely… the coolness of these summer fruits/veggies/herbs, the crunch of seeds, the noodles, the fullness of avocado, and the the sweet-salty-spicy seasonings… it’s everything i love!

sara forte26/06/2013 - 12:01 pm

you’re amazing. this is incredible. I have been resisting one of those y-peelers for so long is efforts to not collect a lot of tools, but I can’t resist anymore, you make it look TOO good.

Andrea26/06/2013 - 1:20 pm

#nextlevel

Ashley26/06/2013 - 3:06 pm

this is the best looking recipe I have seen in a long time! well done, can’t wait to make it.

Zita26/06/2013 - 4:43 pm

What an interesting combination! Watermelon with salt, wow! Beautiful photos and stunning recipe! It is a “must try” one! :)

It was super hot over here as well, unfortunately it’s reining now. I like the idea of cucumber noodles and watermelon salad as well. It must be refreshing.

amy26/06/2013 - 9:56 pm

This looks delish…and exactly what I feel like eating on this hot and humid NYC night!
Beautiful photos too!

Hannah27/06/2013 - 12:08 am

Watermelon with salt and chili takes me straight to Mexico. Yes. Cucumber noodles are new to me, but can’t wait to try. Sounds refreshing indeed.

Kate27/06/2013 - 7:34 am

I am loving issuu, and all the amazing magazines to be found on there. Admittedly, I could fill my house with a hundred print subscriptions, lazily paging through them and drowning in their content, but the online options make an easier place for me to visit without adding to the visual clutter of them laying around. Lord knows I have enough already.

I haven’t jumped on the raw veggies as noodles bandwagon, but this recipe just might push me in that direction because this just looks far too amazing to ignore. I do need to find that tool as well.

Lindsey27/06/2013 - 8:12 am

So clever to use cucumber instead of zucchini. I am totally digging the fact that the cucumbers are cool, crunchy, and a bit watery – sounds so fresh.

Dana27/06/2013 - 8:45 am

Love love LOVE this post! Will be trying this soon :)

Kara27/06/2013 - 8:31 pm

Um…I just devoured this for dinner and it’s amazing! It’s a little crazy how good it is–thanks for sharing the wealth.

Amy Creighton27/06/2013 - 8:40 pm

This not only looks stupendous, it IS!!!! Incredibly delicious! Thank you for your creativity!

Lana29/06/2013 - 8:13 pm

going out and getting one of these julienne peelers asap! i went to a raw vegan restaurant last week and had raw pad thai. so delicious (and FILLING!). since then i have been wondering exactly what tool they use to achieve these dishes. thanks for this! from an southern ontario friend ;)

annie30/06/2013 - 10:20 am

I made this dish last night for a cooking club and everyone loved it! The chipotle powder packs a punch but the cucumber and watermelon really mellows it out. Really interesting flavor combination. Thanks for the great recipe!

Jen30/06/2013 - 1:29 pm

This really is delicious and was so refreshing after a day of too much sun and humidity. I’m allergic to avocado but wanted a soft, creamy component, so I decreased the salt and crumbled in some feta and that worked wonderfully.

[...] ich das rezept bei laura von thefirstmess war ich hin und weg, wahnsinnig schöne bilder und eine zutatenliste, die mir den mund ordentlich [...]

Courtney01/07/2013 - 12:23 pm

You’re blowing my mind with the preparation of the watermelon in this dish. I’m definitely going to be using it in more savory ways this summer, that is if I don’t pop it all in my mouth first! I’ve always seen those little julienne peelers and wondered if they were worth it…definitely heading out to buy one this week.

Rachel Brady01/07/2013 - 3:51 pm

I need to get me one of those little tools. This is downright revolutionary! I’m all over it! x

hungryandfrozen02/07/2013 - 6:06 am

Well. Guess who now wants a julienne peeler. I must say, I’m huddled by the heater as I read this but LONG for juicy, icy cucumber and watermelon all of a sudden.

Joanne Giberson04/07/2013 - 6:00 pm

Your Lime Cuke salad was perfect for lunch on a hot day. I loved it!!

Katie04/07/2013 - 10:26 pm

You’ve totally sold me on the julienne peeler! After a recent struggle with a mandoline will trying to make zucchini noodles, I was wondering how anyone ever got such perfect strips.

Elenore Bendel Zahn10/07/2013 - 1:58 pm

Miss Laura. Came by to say – YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!!

[...] image credits: southern living / saveur / kwestia smaku my darling lemon thyme / cooking light / she wears many hats cooksmarts / sweet sugar bean / the first mess [...]

hannah24/07/2013 - 10:03 pm

I made this last night and it was sooo delicious! Thank you! I’m so glad to have found your blog, I made the teriyaki eggplant as well and the creamy broccoli salad from last year (which has SUCH an addictive dressing!). I can’t wait to make this particular recipe again though, I think I might add a cup of black beans next time too! You have such a talent!

[...] Chipotle Lime Zucchini Noodle Salad with Arugula, Avocado, Quinoa and Roasted Chickpeas Serves 3-4; Vegan, Gluten Free Inspired by The First Mess [...]

Summer Crush30/07/2013 - 12:29 pm

[...] chili lime cucumber noodles on salted watermelon w/ mint + basil [...]

Beth02/08/2013 - 1:16 am

I made this tonight and added fresh snap peas from the garden! Terrific recipe! I have so many cucumbers in the garden this year that it is always great to come up with new ways to serve them! Thanks…..

[…] a julienne peeler. I had it on my wishlist for a while, but after Laura endorsed it alongside this cucumber watermelon stunner, it promptly landed in my mailbox. (You are reading Laura’s blog, The First Mess, right? […]

Marsha23/08/2013 - 8:41 am

Looks delicious

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