Thursday, July 12, 2012

Recipe: Watermelon and Feta Salad with Cucumbers and Mint

I made this salad at work this week and just had to share with you.  I've seen many versions of it, but what remains consistent is the watermelon and cheese combination.  My father says it reminds him of my great uncle, who used to eat feta with watermelon as a snack.  Clearly it's a good combination which has stood the test of time. Pairing fruit with cheese is a favorite of mine too. I made a red wine French vinaigrette for the salad. It's a little tangy with a good helping of Dijon mustard to emulsify the dressing.  I have mint growing in my garden and thought it would complement the feta- refreshing and crisp. 

I've been using watermelon often lately and made these little disks by cutting out a block of melon.  Shave the rind off with a sharp knife, then use a fluted or straight-sided cookie cutter to cut through the melon.  Slice the rounds into disks, about 1/4" thick.  Using the cookie cutter for the melon is also a great idea for making a fruit tray for a children's party using fun shapes, maybe animals or cars.  Baby or wedding showers would be really cute with heart or flower shaped watermelon slices- oh, the possibilities! 

I like using seedless english cucumbers.  If you use regular cucumbers, which are great at this time of year, quarter them lengthwise and seed them before putting in the salad.  The onions are little Creoles, but if those aren't available, a shallot or red onion would be an ideal substitute.  

Watermelon Salad with French Sheep's milk Feta

Watermelon disks (read above)
Cucumbers, seeded and sliced
French Feta Cheese
Fresh Mint
Creole Onion, sliced
Freshly ground black pepper

French Vinaigrette:

In a small jelly jar combine:

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot or red onion

Once all the ingredients are in the jar, tightly screw the lid on and shake until emulsified.

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