Friday, July 4, 2014

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

I was first introduced to this salad a few weeks ago.  I went to eat supper with my brother and sister-in-law and when I walked in I saw her working away chopping watermelon, olives and onions.  I was intrigued at the combination of  ingredients and immediately asked what she was making.  Watermelon feta salad.  Instantly I knew I was going to love it and I couldn't wait for supper so I could dive in.  This salad was just as good as I thought it would be and have been thinking about it and looking for a chance to make it ever since.
I finally got my chance and I was beyond excited.  This, my friends, is my new favorite salad.  It's so simple but comes together with big flavors.  The subtle sweetness of the watermelons is the perfect base for this salad.  Salty olives, crunchy, sweet onions, salty feta and a mixture of olive oil, tart lemon juice and hot sauce are the additions that make this complete.

Before you run off with the thought of watermelon and olives, please stop and hear me out because I've convinced many skeptics to try this salad and they have all LOVED it.  First, you have to get over the fact that you are mixing olives and fruit.  Do you like your watermelon with a little salt sprinkled over the top?  Because, honestly, there is nothing better than a sweet juicy watermelon topped off with a bit of salt.  So, if your like me, and like salt on your melon then just think of the olives and feta as the added salt.
The hot sauce adds a touch of heat without being too overwhelming, it honestly helps to balance the sweet and salty.  The cheese adds another element of salt but also adds a creaminess to the mix as well.  All of the flavors on their own on delicious, but when you get a little watermelon, olive, cheese, onion and mint in one bite let me just say it is delicious.
This salad is summer in a bowl.  It's light, refreshing and filling at the same time.  This salad would be the perfect addition to your picnic spread and the ideal side to grilled or fried chicken, steak or pork.  Once you try it, this will be your new favorite salad and it will be making an appearance at all of your cookouts and gatherings.

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint
Ingredients:

1/3 Cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 Tsp kosher salt
1 Tsp hot sauce
1/2 Tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 (8lb) seedless watermelon, cut into bite size cubes or scooped in 1/2 inch chunks with a melon baller
1/2 Lb crumbled feta cheese
1 1/4 Cups pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped (optional)
1 Small sweet onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 Cup coursely chopped mint

Directions:

In a small bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, salt, hot sauce and pepper and whisk to combine.

Place watermelon, cheese, olives, onion and mint in a large bowl and toss to combine.  Pour olive oil mixture over the watermelon mixture and gently toss to combine.  Place in refrigerator and chill until ready to serve.

Recipe source: Food & Wine

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