Moon and Stars Watermelon Calypso Bean Salad
Did you know that Israel is home to about 100 watermelon growers who sell 100,000 tons of watermelon every year? This watermelon salad pays tribute to the popular Israeli crop that’s perfect for a hot day in Israel and beyond.
Watermelon and beans? Yes! The Moon and Stars Watermelon variety is named for its “celestial” rind, with a design that looks like a star-filled night. The sweet flavor and crisp texture of the melon balance the rich, hearty flavor of the heirloom calypso beans, and a spicy kick from jalapeño and fresh lime give the dish a bit of a Latin flair.
Enjoy this healthy, gluten-free, oil-free salad as a side dish for any summer party, or use it as the filling for vegan tacos and lettuce cups.
- Combine the watermelon, calypso beans, corn, red onion, jalapeño, and cilantro.
- Zest and juice the limes and add to the mix. Add a dash of salt.
- Toss well. Taste to adjust seasoning, if needed.
- Serve immediately.
Chef Katie Simmons' Tips
- Make ahead: If you’re making this salad ahead of time, combine everything except the watermelon. If the watermelon sits too long with other ingredients, the salt can draw out too much moisture and make it mushy.
- Use the rind: Retain the beautiful rind of the Moon and Stars watermelon variety and use it as an elegant serving dish for this salad. When dicing the watermelon, try to cut around the seeds. If any sneak by, simply remove as best you can.
- How to cook Calypso beans: For 1 ½ cups of cooked beans, start with ½ cup dry beans. Soak overnight (or for at least 8 hours). Drain and rinse. Then cook in 3 cups fresh water, simmering until tender, about 60-90 minutes. You can also use 1 (15-oz.) can of black or pinto beans.
Chef Katie Simmons is a classically-trained personal chef in Chicago. Her journey to cooking has been a winding path from Kentucky to backpacking in New Zealand through culinary school at Kendall College and working for Whole Foods Market. Her own frustrations of being an overweight fitness professional finally led her to embrace a plant-based, vegan diet.