My Watermelon Summer Medley of Nature + Beauty + Health

Hello Substantial Living!

This dish just makes me happy-so happy!  This is, by far, my favorite recipe and blog post of 2016.  It’s a watermelon- feta-heirloom baby tomato dessert inspired by Flinders Lane in NYC.   I had so much fun creating, photographing, styling, and most of all- making this for a recent dinner party where one of my mom’s oldest friends from England was visiting me in Russian Hill.  She took care of me when I was born!DSC_7086

It is the perfect juxtaposition of every Substantial element I believe in…flavor, seasonal, beautiful, pure and colorful abundance from the Mother Earth.  It also happens to taste amazing!!



Creating beauty from nature and connecting people together through the simple things like food + wellness from across the globe is what Substantial Living is all about…






As my Eating with Meaning food philosophy goes, it’s not only about what you eat, but also how you eat it…This dish takes the award for the prettiest and simplest styling.  What makes it unique is the basil seeds-which are good for improving digestion and have calming effects for anxiety-so yes, makes our brain happy.


Photographing this dish was even better because I got to have so much fun playing  with lighting and contrast with such vibrant colors and details.


So here’s the recipe!

¼ seedless watermelon, finely sliced
2 tablespoon Lemon marinated feta
1 teaspoon bloomed basil seeds
4 Heirloom cherry tomatoes cut in quarters
Salad greens-arugula, basil, mache
Extra Virgin olive oil

Lemon Feta
2 tablespoon drained feta cheese
1 lemon –zest and juice
1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
1 teaspoon finely chopped basil
Fleur de sel and freshly cracked pepper

Basil Seeds
Place 1 tablespoon of basil seeds in a mixing bowl and cover with 3 tablespoons of water. After 5-10 minutes they should begin to bloom, transforming from dry small seeds to swollen seeds with a pearl like look and texture. If they still look dry, don’t be afraid to add a few more teaspoons of water.
Basil seeds can be found at health food shops or Asian grocery stores.

Lemon Feta
In a large mixing bowl, use your hands to crumble the feta. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, chopped chives, salt and pepper to taste and combine well.

To assemble
Lay sliced watermelon on a large plate. Sprinkle the watermelon with the marinated feta. Place cherry tomatoes over the feta. Dress with the basil seeds, drizzle with olive oil and finish with fresh baby greens.

Make this dish the star for your Fourth of July party!!

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