Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Meet the Contributors: Elisa Ludwig

There are, of course, many parallels between the processes of writing and cooking, which I'm looking forward to exploring along with the other fabulous writers contributing to this blog. But for the moment, I just want to talk about the beauty of not-cooking.

That's right. Going raw.*

Now ordinarily, I'm the type of person (some might say deranged?) who will dive into a four-page recipe, seeking out every last required ingredient however obscure, and doing everything from scratch—even on a weeknight. I just love the challenge of making a new dish and I find the physical work very relaxing after a day of staring into a monitor.

But right now I'm currently working on the first draft of two different novels. (Really not a good idea, by the way.) And the Philly heat is kind of overwhelming. So every evening I'm emerging from the deepest recesses of drafting in a major brain fog. I'm craving foods that are fresh and nourishing but I can't bear to turn on the stove or do anything too complicated. Thus, this watermelon tomato salad.

The main thing here is that the watermelon and tomatoes need to be ripe and delicious. But otherwise, this is pretty simple.

Just cut up your ingredients and stick 'em in a bowl.

Add some oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and mix it up.

Watermelon Salad

Serves 4-6

6 cups 1-inch cubes of watermelon

2 cups yellow tomatoes, cut into ¼ inch cubes

½ jalapeno, seeded, ribbed and minced (optional)

3 scallions, thinly sliced

½ cup cilantro leaves, pulled from their stems

3 ounces feta or cotija cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil



Combine watermelon, tomatoes, jalapeƱo, scallions, cilantro, cheese, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently and serve immediately, using a slotted spoon to lift the salad from its liquid.

* Not in the raw foodist type of way, though. I don't even own a dehydrator. And I like cheese.


  1. I would not have thought of those ingredient combos, and it looks so refreshing. My small tomatoes have just started coming in and I will pop one in my mouth. Now, I am imagining the watering lightness of watermelon mingling with my earthly sweet tomatoes....
    Love this. And veggie selection to boot.

    In regards to writing...It reminds me how two characters that would seem to negate each other turn out to blend and benefit one another.

    Rock on!

  2. I love this type of quick to make, tasty salads. I'm always on the lookout for new salad recipes in the summer. Yum!

  3. We are having the same type of weather, and any recipe that doesn't require an oven is definitely a good thing right now.

  4. This is awesome! I'm always looking for things to do with watermelon. I can't wait to try this!