Watermelon and feta salad, two ingredient flavour bomb and a pairing of rare and unique perfection. No wonder it’s everywhere come July.
Watermelon mon amour
I have a special affinity with watermelon. Every autumn I forget completely about its existence – naturally, since I abhor consuming produce out of season and frankly don’t even know if you can buy watermelon all year round.
I live through the autumn, winter and spring peacefully, and then suddenly on a July morning I see the green variegated spheres with a few Barbie-pink halves and quarters perched on a pile. And at that very moment I realise I only want to eat watermelon every day. How could I have survived without it all year?
And the summer feast begins, with an enormous tub of watermelon chunks living in the fridge.
How to handle watermelon?
I strongly advise, if you share the pink predilection, not to buy prepared tubs – they are horribly expensive.
The seedless variety doesn’t tempt me either, because it is completely flavourless.
The old fashioned fruit, whole or a section of it, is really not difficult to prepare so you can have the pink tub in the fridge available at all times.
My watermelon tip shows you how to divest it off the rind and the pips.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with serving yourself a wedge to bite into, spitting the seeds around the garden. But if we want to be civilised and/or it’s raining, you can easily de-pip and cube up the giant.
What to do with watermelon?
You can, apparently, make it into a gazpacho or pickles, but I don’t really understand the point of doing that, if you can just load a bowlful of chunks and eat with a fork, possibly, occasionally drizzled with lime or good balsamic vinegar.
When you cut up your whole or semi-circular watermelon you can use the bits scraped out with seeds to make a gorgeous granita.
And if you’re in need of dessert to serve at a barbecue, just whip some fresh cream and garnish it with watermelon pieces. It will go down a treat.
And last but not least, you can make the salad with feta.
What’s so good about watermelon and feta combo?
It’s sweet and salty, it’s refreshing but filling enough for lunch, if you have a crust of buttered fresh bread on the side.
There are various elaborate version of this one, which is an old Mediterranean classic, with olive oil or yoghurt, but to be honest even the herbs are there mainly as a pop of contrasting colour. At least that’s my view.
How to serve watermelon
Like revenge, and unlike most fruit, It needs to be served chilled. When longer out of the fridge, it gets mushy and starts tasting like sugared water – which in fact it obviously is.
Feta tastes better at room temperature so have it out of the fridge when assembling the salad.
Also, I prefer to buy very good quality, organic feta cheese that will taste nice even chilled somewhat by the cool watermelon.
More summer salad recipes
Fresh cucumbers with cumin tahini dressing, sprinkled with extra sesame seeds are crunchy, juicy and wonderfully refreshing. Try them as a side for beef burger patties.
Green papaya salad with sweet and sour dressing is crunchy, juicy and incredibly full of goodness. Plus, it helps digest meat!
A simple and exquisite starter made with fresh melon and smoked salmon, with a drizzle of balsamic and a sprinkling of fresh mint. Gorgeous! Even if salmon is not home cured.
More feta recipes
Fresh cucumbers with feta cheese and honey are a minimalist version of Greek salad and all the better for skipping tomatoes – mainly for your digestion.
Saganaki is a Greek dish of anything cooked and served in a small skillet, cheese saganaki the most popular. This recipe for fried saganaki feta is dead simple and makes a super tasty snack or appetiser. Saganaki feta with caramelised figs, a great mix of flavours.
Feta with grapes and walnuts is a fantastic salad, perfect for lunch or as a starter. A simple salad of feta cheese, roasted grapes and walnuts resembles the Waldorf salad a little but is easier to make. Just roast the grapes with a little balsamic, crumble feta and walnuts; and it’s self-dressing with the grape juices.