My husband loves feta. During the summer, one of his favorite snacks is freshly sliced chilled watermelon with crumbly slices of feta. The saltiness of the cheese is a perfect compliment to the cool sweetness of the watermelon. He introduced me to the flavor combination, and now I’m hooked, too. Nothing says summer like fresh watermelon and feta!
A couple of weeks ago we had some friends over for dinner. The weather was just starting to warm up (it’s been a long winter here in California), so we decided to make it an outdoor dinner in our back yard. As I grocery shopped for the meal, my mind was on all the summery foods we’ve been missing. I browsed the produce section and noticed that ripe seedless watermelons were on sale. Of course, my mind went to watermelon and feta! I decided to create a simple summer salad with seedless watermelon chunks, crumbled feta cheese, fresh mint, and a homemade lime juice dressing.
After a little experimentation with the dressing, this is what I came up with! The salty citrus dressing really brings out the flavor of the watermelon, the mint is refreshing, and the feta adds a perfect touch of creaminess. Even those of you who don’t like sweet, fruity salads may appreciate this one– the flavor is truly unique. It was a big hit with our friends, and I’m guessing it will be making regular appearances on our summer menu. It would might just be the perfect side-salad for your 4th of July barbecue. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
If at all possible, try to find goat or sheep’s milk feta– preferably the larger chunks sold in delis or cheese markets. I personally prefer the flavor to pre-crumbled cow’s milk feta. No big deal if you can’t find it– the other feta will work just as well!
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- 1 7-8 lb. seedless watermelon, chilled
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 limes, juiced
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup fresh chopped mint leaves
- 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese (goat or sheep milk feta is best)
- Note: This salad is best made just prior to serving. Prepare one hour or less before your meal.
- Cut rind from the watermelon, then chop the fruit into 1 inch chunks. Place chunks in a colander to drain as your chop.
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, fresh lime juice, salt, and black pepper to create a dressing.
- Place watermelon in a large salad bowl. Pour dressing and chopped mint over the watermelon and toss gently to coat.
- Pour the crumbled feta into the salad bowl and stir gently to integrate the cheese into the salad. Serve.
- The salt and the citrus in the dressing will activate the juices in the watermelon, so a lot of liquid will collect in the bottom of the salad bowl. This is normal, and does not affect the flavor. To avoid having liquid transfer to your plate, serve the salad with a slotted spoon.