We had a great holiday weekend.
On Sunday we went to Chagrin Falls for the annual Jaycee’s Blossom Time Festival. The town was really beautiful with amazing rhododendrons in full bloom in front of many of the old homes along the parade route. Before the parade started, we attended a picnic at our friend Sally’s home. Sally made hot dogs and baked beans, and all the neighbors brought side dishes to share. When I go to a picnic like this, I love to check out all the new and original sides dishes. Two caught my eye. The first was a green pea salad, made with fresh frozen green beans, combined with peanuts and dressed with mayonnaise. It was surprisingly pretty and good. The second dish was one that I just couldn’t stop eating. It was bright red and beautiful. It was made of watermelon and tomatoes. The watermelon was cut with a melon ball cutter and the baby red tomatoes were cut in half. It also had tiny bits of fresh basil and small chunks of feta cheese.
The day was hot but the parade was great. We had about 40 volunteers walk with us in their blue DeWine T-shirts. Our 2-year-old grandson Theo walked with Mike and me. Theo loved passing out my cookbook along the parade route. And when he got tired, Mike carried him on his shoulders.
On Monday we walked in the Memorial Day parade in Blue Ash. Mike really enjoyed talking to all the veterans, especially the WWII veterans riding in the float. Even though it was a very hot day, our team did a great job walking in the parade with us.
When I came home, I had to try the watermelon salad. It is so fresh tasting and I can’t wait to make it with the heirloom tomatoes when they come in season. The other recipe I’m working on this week is my old prosciutto-wrapped roasted asparagus appetizer. Instead of wrapping it with prosciutto, (which I never have on hand), I thought I would try bacon. It was delicious and a lot easier to make. I think it’s going into my new cookbook.
Tomato Watermelon Salad
Ripe tomatoes (heirloom tomatoes, cut in chunks or cherry tomatoes cut in half)
Small seedless watermelon, cut in chunks or balls
1 teaspoon salt
Toss gently and put in colander to drain.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar or raspberry vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Fresh basil, chopped or cut in thin strips
In bowl mix drained tomatoes and watermelon, dressing, feta and basil. Toss gently and serve.
Roasted Asparagus Wrapped in Bacon
20 large asparagus spears (wash, dry, and trim)
10 slices bacon, cut in half
1 -8 ounce pkg. cream cheese
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat cooking sheet with olive oil (line with foil for easy clean-up). Cut cream cheese into about 20 finger-shaped pieces. Press cream cheese finger into one side of asparagus stalk, then wrap half piece of bacon around stalk. Leave tip end exposed. Arrange on baking sheet — not touching. Lightly drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Bake 15-20 minutes. Serve hot.
Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, wife of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and guest columnist. She is working on her next cookbook, Fran DeWine and Tina Husted’s Family Favorites.