The Greeks would serve watermelon with feta cheese after a meal as a light fruit and cheese combination that brings the meal to a lovely closure.
They can’t be more right with the watermelon and feta combination. They sing together in harmony!
Many have picked up on this combination but have brought it forward to the beginning of a meal as a salad – watermelon and feta salad. It may sound wrong but it is so right.
You have to start off with the sweetest and most juicy of watermelon for this salad to be well-balanced.
Take some time to macerate the red onions while you cut up the watermelon. I find that it is best when the watermelon slices are not too small. I cut them into triangles this time but you can most definitely cut it into large cubes.
Finish off this salad with a teaspoon or two of your finest balsamic vinegar. This probably isn’t a really Greek thing to do. Bur I do think that an aged balsamic is an incredible addition to both the watermelon and feta.
This salad is very light and refreshing for days when you get bouts of heat waves. It whets your appetite for the rest of your meal so I prefer to have this combination before a meal, rather than at the end of a meal.
Go on and try this salad today. It has only so few ingredients and easy to throw together in minutes!
Tips on picking a sweet and juicy watermelon:
1. Pick one that feels heavy for its size. Compare it with a few other watermelons. This would indicate that it is juicy (a lot of water weight) and not dry.
2. Pick a dull looking watermelon. This may sound counter-intuitive but a shiny surface watermelon mean that it is under-ripe. It also should not have irregular bumps.
3. Go for the watermleon with a dark field spot. Field spot is the area where the watermelon is sitting on the field/ground. It should be cream, yellow in colour. The darker the colour, the longer the watermelon has been ripening on the vine.
5. Tap the bottom of the watermelon with your knuckles. It should give a deep, full sound (not too sure how to describe that). That was what my granny taught me. I tap every watermelon I buy and go along with my instincts on this one.
Recipe: Watermelon and feta salad
Makes 2 portions
250g – 300g watermelon
100g Greek-style feta, cut into cubes
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp aged balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
a handful of fresh mint leaves
1. Macerate the finely sliced red onion in the tablespoon of white vinegar for about 15 minutes to remove the sharpness. Discard the vinegar.
2. Remove the rind of the watermelon and slice it into triangles or large cubes (not too small).
3. Toss the watermelon, cubed feta, red onion, with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Toss in the fresh mint leaves. Allow the flavours to amalgate for about 10 minutes before serving.