I can recall my parents enjoying watermelon (and some other fruit like cantaloupe) with Feta for as far back as my memory goes. The combo sounds odd to those that haven’t tried it but those numbers are dwindling (seeing lots of watermelon & Feta posts). Greeks will simply have a slab of watermelon with a side of Feta and take a bite of the fruit then nibble on Feta. Repeat, enjoy.
This classic Greek combo has morphed into composed salad and in some cases – some pretty, delicate and stylized dishes that are pure food porn. This post pays homage to the watermelon & Feta combo with some small twists without straying too far from the basics. Greek ingredients, simplicity and summer-time freshness.
A few points on watermelon: where possible choose a melon with seeds vs. seedless (those are usually tasteless). The watermelon should be heavy, give it a tap and you’re listening for a dull thud – a dense watermelon. Also, choose a watermelon that has that white patch on it – it’s a good thing! It means that the watermelon ripened naturally in the sun without someone twisting it to hasten the ripening.
I’m repeating myself here but please choose good Feta cheese: where possible, buy Greek Feta cheese made of sheep, goat or a combo of sheep and goat milk. I realize that some do not have access to Greek Feta but you may find local producers who make it with goat or sheep’s milk. Look on the tub to see what kind of milk is used. Cow’s milk has no business in Feta cheese and frankly that stuff tastes like cottage cheese. You want cottage cheese, buy that!
Finally, I’ve whipped up a novel vinaigrette of purred watermelon, lemon juice, some honey, mint and Greek extra-virgin olive oil. The cubes of watermelon are tossed with the Feta, some slices red onions, some purslane and the vinaigrette. Here’s the recipe…I’m off to buy more watermelon!
Watermelon and Feta (Καρπούζι Και Φέτα)
4 cups of cubed watermelon (or use a melonballer to make spheres)
1/3 cup sliced red onions
1/3 cup purslane
1 1/2 cups of cubed Feta (make the cubes about half the size of the Feta)
4-5 cubes of watermelon
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 tsp. of honey
squeeze of lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Prepare your salad ingredients in a large serving bowl (or prep in a regular bowl if you’re going to serve individually). To make the vinaigrette, add your cubes of watermelon, mint leaves, honey, lemon juice and olive oil and process until emulsified. Pour over your salad and gently toss with your hands.
- Serve family style in a large bowl or divide and serve in individual bowls.
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