Melon, Mint and Lemon
by eat in my kitchen
One of the great things about living in the Mediterranean in summer is that you can find fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables at every street corner. Farmers offer their harvest of the morning on little open vans, ripe tomatoes, zucchini, aubergines, the sweetest peaches, melons, grapes and the biggest bunches of basil I’ve ever seen in my life. They are so big that you have to hold them with both of your hands! These mobile shops are the social meeting points of each street or village. It’s a beautiful scene of women buying their groceries for the next days, checking the quality of the offers, exchanging gossip and enjoying the fresh air before the heat takes over again.
My trusted vegetable man, Leli, comes to Msida twice a week, a humble man with beautiful eyes as blue as the Mediterranean sea! Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to meet him yet. He comes to our village on Tuesday and Friday in the morning and I was busy driving around on the island on both days. Jenny told me that his face lit up with a big smile when she told him that we were soon to arrive! I asked her to buy some vegetables for me before I arrived and she bought me one of the sweetest melons that I have ever eaten. It was like honey, so juicy and ripe!
We enjoyed a couple slices before I threw a handful of mint leaves from Jenny’s garden on top. Then I drizzled some fresh lemon juice over the yellow fruit, a tip a got from my Maltese auntie Sandra. It’s perfectly refreshing on these days that push to almost 40°C (104°F) on the thermometer! All you need is a very ripe Galia melon – Bettiegh in Maltese – skinned and cut into slices, a handful of fresh mint leaves, the juice of half a lemon and the heat can come!