Food & Drink

Use sweet watermelon, crisp radishes to make this summery salad

Sweet watermelon is the base for a summery watermelon radish salad.
Sweet watermelon is the base for a summery watermelon radish salad. Getty Images

I hope your Memorial Day weekend was memorable. This unofficial kickoff to summer is usually sprinkled with barbecue gatherings and pool parties. Thankfully, Monday’s weather cooperated for a bit of pool time.

Multiple friends have mentioned that May is as busy as December. I’m not sure if you’re experiencing that this May, but it seems to be the new trend. As May is coming to an end, and we’re welcoming hopefully warmer, sunnier weather, the barbecues and patio parties commence with great excitement. Oftentimes, these types of parties end up being potluck style with everyone pitching in. People frequently ask about dishes to take to such parties, and this week’s salad is just perfect to pack and enjoy outside.

Shockingly, I’ve had multiple watermelons this year that were sweet and delicious. It seems way too early, but I’m sure they’re grown in Mexico or some other tropical place. Watermelon is an absolute favorite fruit – I could survive on it alone during the steamy summer months. That’s why this recipe from “Carla Hall’s Soul Food” caught my attention.

This beautiful book was a gift from a high school friend, Adam, who thought of me when he ended up with two copies. The title might be a little bit deceiving because the book is full of fresh, delicious recipes and is worth a browse. The food photography is gorgeous. Carla’s writing will pull you in as she shares her personal story sprinkled with African American history. You’ll be running to the store to cook up her recipes and also wishing she was your friend. Her recipes and her words will speak straight to your soul. Cheers to watermelon season, patio parties and all the summer fun.

Adriene Rathbun is an enthusiastic Wichita cook who offers cooking classes through her business, Social. Reach her at or

Watermelon Salad with Radishes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch red radishes, cut into 1/8-inch slices

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

½ red onion, cut into thin slivers

4 ½ pounds watermelon (1/4 of a large melon), rind removed, flesh cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons torn mint leaves

Dissolve a spoonful of salt in a large bowl of ice and water. Add the radishes and let sit for a few minutes to crisp.

Whisk the vinegar, oil and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Drain the radishes and add to the bowl, along with the onion and watermelon. Gently toss with your hands to coat evenly.

Spread on a serving platter, grind pepper all over, and top with the mint.