Watermelon! I love watermelons! Just feeling that hollow *thump* when I pat a ripe watermelon makes me salivate.
All summer, we've been eating watermelons just one after another. With no A/C in our flat (or most anywhere in London), watermelons are the quickest way to cool off. During the hottest weeks, when the summer heat made make me so lazy that I wouldn't even want to expend any energy to pick out the seeds to eat the watermelon, I would juice the entire thing and just sip it out of a straw. Ah, sounds crazy, but it feels like autumn is already here in London. I'm really going to miss watermelons.
Because they are just so delicious as is, it took me a while to convince myself that I should try to do something with a watermelon. Could anything make my watermelon taste better than it does in its simple and pure form? Seeing Ottolenghi's recipe for a watermelon salad in his cookbook, Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes, finally convinced me. If Ottolenghi makes watermelon salad, then okay, I guess could at least give it a try.
One evening when we invited some friends over for dinner, I decided to plate up some watermelon. Nervously, I sprinkled on the purple onions, crumbled on the feta cheese and placed on some basil pickings from my windowsill garden. The real commitment came when I had to pour on the olive oil and grind black pepper over it all. Yes, all over the deliciously crisp and sweet watermelon. At that point, there was no turning back!
To my surprise, the watermelon salad was so refreshing! Was it better than just cubed watermelon straight from the fridge? I'm not so sure. Was it better than juiced watermelon? Well, I'm not sure anything could beat that. But it was a very quick and easy salad that fed 5 people and required very minimal effort.
And it was visually stunning - the red watermelon, the purple onions, the green basil, the yellow olive oil, the black pepper, and the stark white feta cheese. All of the colors popped out against one another, and it was definitely beautiful when I set the watermelon salad in the middle of the dining table. And at the end of the meal, there was only once piece of watermelon left. Either my friends actually enjoyed it, or they were too polite to say anything different. You can never tell with the British, anyway.
Anyone else make watermelon salad before? What did you think?
A Mouthwatering Watermelon Salad with Feta CheesePrint Recipe
- 6 cups large chunks of watermelon
- 3.5 ounces feta cheese - sliced or crumbled into chunks
- 1 handful basil leaves
- ¼ medium red onion - sliced very thinly
- generous drizzle of olive oil
- dash of coarse sea salt
- dash of coarse ground pepper
- On a large platter, arrange the watermelon chunks, feta, red onion and basil. Immediately before serving, drizzle olive oil over the salad, and sprinkle a pinch of coarse sea salt and a pinch of coarse ground black pepper.