Watermelon, Cucumber, Feta Salad with Toasted Sunflower Seeds & Basil

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The summer season started super early in Switzerland this year and it has been unusually warm for the last 6 weeks. Hey, I am not complaining at all. And it’s perfect timing because this is the first year we have decided to stay in CH for the whole summer to enjoy this beautiful Swiss Summer. With the warm weather, we have also been entertaining visitors non-stop and the BBQ/picnic invitations just keep on coming. This Watermelon, Cucumber, Feta Salad with Toasted Sunflower Seeds & Basil has become one of my favorite summer dishes and was served up by my sister-in-law on a beautiful evening in Basel. I have made it at least 4 times in the last two weeks because it’s just so good, light and refreshing. And I tell you, the TOASTED SUNFLOWER SEEDS is a game changer to this classic combination of watermelon and feta. There are many more hot summer days and BBQs to come and hoping this salad will make it your table.

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INGREDIENTS: (serves 6-8)

Toasted Sunflower Seeds:

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (5 ml)

1/3 cup sunflower seeds (40 g)

1 sprinkle of salt

1 sprinkle of sugar


1 tbsp dijon mustard (15 ml)

4 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (60 ml)

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (75 ml)

2 sprinkles of fleur de sel (Maldon sea salt or kosher coarse salt)

freshly cracked pepper to taste


2 large green onions or 4 small spring onions, finely chopped

1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, halved lengthwise and sliced

1 mini seedless watermelon (approx. 2.3 lbs or 1.8 kg), rind removed and chopped into bite size pieces

7 oz. block of good quality Feta cheese (200 g), crumbled by hand

handful of fresh basil leaves, julienned

handful of micro greens (optional)


  1. In a medium-sized pan, heat 1 tsp olive oil on medium-high heat and add in the sunflower seeds. Sprinkle with salt and sugar and allow the seeds to toast until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl or serving dish, whisk together the dijon mustard, white balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly, to form an emulsion.
  3. To your dressing, add in your thinly chopped green onions, sliced cucumbers, chopped watermelon pieces, and basil. Combine the ingredients with the dressing and allow to marinate for a few minutes.
  4. Before ready to serve, toss in the toasted sunflower seeds, crumbled feta cheese and micro greens. Add a last drizzle of white balsamic vinegar, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and 1 pinch of fleur de sel. Toss your salad one last time and serve.


  • I know this goes with out saying, but a good quality feta makes all the difference and I prefer it to buy it as a block and crumble it myself.

Summer Green Bean Salad with Summer Savory Herb & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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The first time I ever heard of the herb, Summer Savory or as they call it in German, Bohnenkraut, was when I moved to Switzerland. And it was only when I was introduced to this herb, green beans became exciting for me. Summer Savory and Green Beans are a match made in heaven and which is why they probably call it Bohnenkraut in German, which translates to Bean Herb (see more details on this herb in the notes part of the recipe).

With green beans in season, my mother-in-law’s Green Bean Salad with Summer Savory Herb & Sun-Dried Tomatoes is one of my summer staples and is a perfect side for a BBQ or a wonderful starter to a summer meal. To fancy it up, pair this salad with grilled piece of tuna. I assure you with this recipe, green beans will never be boring again.

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INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)

1 lb. fresh green beans washed and trimmed (500 g)

1 tsp salt (5 g)

1 medium yellow onion finely chopped

1 garlic clove finely chopped

1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard (10 g)

4 tbsp apple cider vinegar (60 ml)

5 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil (75 ml)

2 tsp dried summer savory herb (10 g)

2-3 generous pinches of Maldon sea salt or fleur de sel

freshly cracked pepper to taste

4 sundried tomatoes thinly sliced


  1. Wash and trim the green beans.
  2. In a medium saucepan, add enough water to cover half of the beans and 1 tsp salt  and steam for 15-20 minutes until the beans are fully cooked but still have a bite. Once cooked, strain the water from the beans and set aside.
  3. While your beans are steaming, finely chop 1 medium-sized onion and 1 garlic clove.
  4. In a salad bowl, add your chopped onion, garlic, mustard, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, summer savory herb, Maldon sea salt, freshly cracked pepper and whisk the ingredients together until the dressing has emulsified.
  5. Add the warm green beans to your dressing and mix well.
  6. Allow the green beans to marinate in the dressing for at least 1 hour (at room temperature) or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. The longer the better.
  7. Thinly slice the sun-dried tomatoes and mix them into the green beans before serving and add another pinch of Maldon sea salt and another dash of freshly cracked pepper if necessary as the green beans tend to absorb the dressing.


  1. This salad is best to serve at room temperature.
  2. You can purchase the herb, summer savory or Bohnenkraut as a dried herb. Sometimes you can find it fresh in the summer time, but the dried form is more intense in taste and I prefer it since I always have it in my pantry.

Orange Fennel Rosemary Salad


I have been eating this salad on repeat for the last 4 weeks. With the beautiful oranges in season, this has become my “go-to“ salad this winter. It’s super easy, wonderfully delicious and very healthy (also Paleo and Whole 30 compliant). This is also a great salad you can prepare in advance for a dinner party because it just gets better with time and allows all of the flavors to marinate together. I thank my husband again for this wonderful Sicilian recipe.


INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)

4 large oranges (you can use any combination of sweet oranges; here I used 2 blood oranges & 2 navel oranges)

1 large fennel bulb (or 2 smaller ones)

1 fresh rosemary sprig

small handful of capers

coarse sea salt

generous drizzle or two of high quality extra virgin olive oil

freshly cracked pepper



  1. Trim the fennel bulb and cut in half. Thinly slice each half.
  2. Using a sharp knife, slice off both ends of each orange. Following the curve of the fruit, cut away the peel and white pith (keep the peels for their juice). Then thinly slice crosswise.
  3. In your serving dish, pour any juice that has accumulated on your work surface, including all of the juice that you can squeeze out of the cut peels.
  4. Line a layer of orange rings on the bottom of your dish and then layer with some fennel slices. Continue to layer with remaining orange rings and fennel.
  5. Pick the rosemary needles off the sprig and chop very finely and add to the salad.
  6. Add a small handful of capers.
  7. Season the salad to taste with a couple of pinches of coarse sea salt (very important there is enough salt), a generous drizzle or two of high quality extra virgin olive oil and freshly cracked pepper.
  8. Toss the salad and let it sit for at least 15-20 minutes before serving. Add another drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt if necessary right before serving.





Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Quinoa Salad with Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette

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Every few weeks or so, I always try to get myself back on “track”. What do I mean by this? Basically, when I really start to feel my pants digging into my muffin top to a point of painfulness, I vow to start dieting and exercising AGAIN… Ugh…

Exactly a month ago, I decided to start the “fed-up challenge” with a friend of mine and I created this salad on the 1st day of the challenge. For those who are not familiar with this diet, you basically cut out added sugar and non-whole grain carbohydrates from your diet for 10 days. Easy, right? Yeah, I think I lasted 4, maybe 5 days. But at least I came up with this yummy salad and I thought it would be a great addition to our Thanksgiving feast this year.

Oh and I also used pumpkin seed oil for the vinaigrette which is an ingredient that I was only introduced to when I moved to Switzerland. I love using it in salads this time of year and it pairs extremely well with beets. Just use it sparingly as it is robust and nutty in flavor and a little goes a long way, similar to sesame oil.



Continue reading “Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Quinoa Salad with Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette”

King Oyster Mushroom Beet and Burrata Salad with a Parsley-Lemon Vinaigrette


My husband has a twin sister and she happens to be one of my favorite people. She also happens to have impeccable style in interior design and fashion. And on top of that, she’s a wonderful cook and uses her innate sense of style when creating a meal, plating a dish or setting a table in ways that are unexpected but beautifully subtle.

I created this salad by combining two different salads made by my dear sister-in-law, which also happens to use two of my favorite seasonal ingredients: mushrooms and beets. Oh and there’s always Burrata which is heavenly all-year round.


Continue reading “King Oyster Mushroom Beet and Burrata Salad with a Parsley-Lemon Vinaigrette”