Those who’ve read my posts for a bit know that my values around food are hugely influenced by eating local and in season. I love the purity and simplicity of certain foods and dishes … which is why I unapologetically posted my own caprese salad a few days ago.
When a whole watermelon showed up on my CSA share last week, I was inspired by this ingredient and by these combined values. Together, I thought about taking a traditional Greek salad, something I adore and a salad I rock, and move it away from tomatoes and see what happens. The result was my second course in my five coarse salad night.
Watermelon, feta, and olives??? Okay, some are likely going ewww or have already changed the channel — but sweet and salty are a tremendous marriage. You need to look no further than my salted-caramel ice cream to know that. More often than not, I put ‘sweet’ in my salads and, in some cases, I embrace the struggle of sweet and salty and seek to provide a canvas for angels to sing. My Sicilian orange and olive salad is a perfect example of how well this can work. So why couldn’t watermelon work too?
The answer is that it does … and work excellently at that. The only cooking tip: buy seedless watermelon (which my CSA offering was not, so if parts look mushy, blame it on my attempt to de-seed a watermelon). The other tip is that I used fresh mint to bring the flavours together. Serving it over arugula is notional because I like the pepperiness of this leaf and thought it would further balance with the other flavours, but any leafy veggie you want and enjoy.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: N/A
Total time: 20 minutes
- 4 cups (2-3 lbs) of seedless watermelon
(rind removed and cubed)
- 1 cup of mint, coarsely chopped
- 16-20 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped chiffonade
- 1/4 cup of red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup (4 oz) Greek feta, cubed
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- 3 cups organic arugula
- Prepare serving plates by mounding each with a small handful of washed and dried arugula (or other leafy veggie).
- Prepare watermelon but cutting away the outer rind and the ‘white.’ Slice watermelon into 1″ (2 cm) cubes. Place in a large salad bowl. Add any watermelon juice to the bowl as well.
- Slice the feta and cube into 1/2″ (1 cm) pieces and add to the watermelon.
- Pit and slice the olives into thirds and add them to the bowl. Slice the onion and add it as well.
- Clean and roughly chop the mint and toss it in the bowl with the watermelon. Chop the parsley chiffonade and add it as well.
- Juice the lime over the watermelon mixture and add the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and gently fold together, careful not to break the watermelon or feta. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
→ Note: You shouldn’t need much salt with the feta and olives.
- Serve watermelon mixture over the arugula making sure to evenly disperse the vinaigrette over each plate.
- Serve immediately and enjoy this very refreshing salad.