Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Watermelon & Feta Salad with Cucumber and Basil

This vibrant Watermelon & Feta Salad is as refreshing as it is nutritious. For the prettiest presentation, small grape tomatoes of various colours and shapes add a lot of panache, and the salty sweet combination of watermelon and feta is exquisite. However, the intervening moments between mixing and serving the ingredients is when the magic happens. The juicy crispness of the watermelon turns sweeter, its flavour amplified by the salty feta combined with crunchy cucumbers, sweet grape tomatoes, salty black olives and fragrant mint and basil, finished with a drizzle of rich balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. One of my favourite summer salads, it's satisfying anytime of the year. Feta works brilliantly in this delicious salad, however it could also be made with tangy Silton, Roquefort or St Agur also, for added complexity.

Watermelon Feta Salad with Cucumber, Basil, Mint & Tomato
Serves 4

2 1/2 cups cubed seedless watermelon
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
8 oz feta cheese, crumbled or cut into cubes
1/2 english cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
1/4 cup fresh basil and mint leaves, washed and left whole
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic or sherry vinegar
Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup black olives, pitted

Combine watermelon, tomatoes, feta cheese and cucumber in a large bowl. Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle with the fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Toss the salad gently using your hands to prevent the watermelon from breaking into small pieces. Don't refrigerate and serve immediately within half an hour or so.

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