Watermelon and feta salad
Summer is teasing us, offering a few days of sunshine and blue skies only to retract its promise and send clouds and rain next. To be honest, I love cloudy, rainy days and often use them to catch up on my reading. After indulging in Roman history before and after our extended stay in Italy, I have moved on to the Russian dynasty in preparation for an upcoming trip to St Petersburg to visit its amazing palaces. I am reading biographies of Catherine the Great and the House of Romanov by Robert Massie who brings the period and characters to life much like the Canadian author Ross King does with Michelangelo and Brunelleschi. You feel like you are there, witnessing historical events as they happen. Catherine the great left her mark all over St. Petersburg and I am looking forward to visit the city. Can you imagine a young woman at the age of 33 staging a coup toppling a reigning Russian Emperor and succeeding in staying on the throne for the next 30+ years? Remarkable.
So, to take a break from the military coup in Russia in mid 18th century I thought I’d go into the kitchen and prepare something, nothing revolutionary, just a salad. A quick search in the overfilled fridge produced a seedless watermelon that I bought the other day, so watermelon salad came to mind, and for me, watermelon has to have feta cheese. Sweet watermelon and salty feta is one of the wonderful flavour combinations that takes you by surprise. I grew up with these flavours so it’s not new to me but I noticed that many people I know have never combined these two together. If you haven’t tried it, I recommend you do.
Watermelon salads are fresh and refreshing, easy to make and mix well with other ingredients such as raspberries, strawberries, cucumbers, red onions, olives, fruity olive oil, lemons, limes, balsamic reduction and mint.
If you make it for a crowd chop the watermelon into chunks and combine with the ingredients of your choice. I made this salad for only two, so I stacked watermelon squares with crumbled feta in between and piled the greens on top. A drizzle of feta salad dressing completes the dish.
To get the symmetrical squares cut the watermelon into equal thickness round slices, stack them and cut into shape. Of course, use seedless watermelon for best results.
The images at the end of the post feature previous recipes on the blog for similar salads, different presentation.
1 seedless watermelon
Feta cheese, crumbled
A few slices of chopped red onion
Fresh mint leaves
4 oz feta
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/3 cup yogurt or water
Cut the watermelon into equal size slices, then stack them and cut into a rectangle. Cut the rectangle stack in two so you get 2 stacks of three layers each.
Arrange the watermelon stacks on 2 plates, crumbling feta on top as you go. Crumble some feta around the plate as well.
Pile greens on top of the watermelon stacks, add a few slices of red onion and a few mint leaves.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Serve the salad with dressing on the side.
Watermelon cucumber salad with balsamic glaze:
Watermelon salad with raspberries and mint:
Just beautiful, Dina. Love it! ??
Dr. Deb / Chickpea, thanks for the comment. I have been looking through your blog and website for the past half hour and loved everything – the food, writing, pottery (beautiful) and photography. Interesting that you say you live in abundance. this how I described myself in my own bio on the blog. Maybe our path will cross someday.
All three salads look delicious but the presentation on the first one is just beautiful. Art on a plate.
Thanks Laura, I was having fun:).
Tis the season for watermelon salad! Next weekend maybe we should repeat? Xo
We will Jade, I’ll find the sweetest one. Love you.
Looks quite great Dina,but I’ll wait untill I return to Mexico because I find the watermelon in Canada to be very tasteless compared to what I get there.
As far as your trip to St. Petersburg, please be prepared to be disappointed. Phil and I were there in 1991 just after the Soviet Union collapsed and the country was a mess and in a state of shock. Everything was dirty, drab and so run down it was pathetic. There were almost no private cars on the streets, the buildings where people lived were delapidated, and the Hermitage, though spectacular was in dire need of upkeep and repair. I returned there on a Baltic cruise in June 2014 and was overwhelmed because so little had changed and what had was for the worse. The only areas that had been cleaned up were those around the tourist areas and the rest were still as dirty and rundown as they had been 23 years before. There are still only 3 bridges across the Neva but there are thousands of cars and one went from one traffic jam to the next. There are no decent places to park cars which makes matters so much worse. After a tour of the big synagogue which has been restored because of an American benefactor and it was lovely, our group went for tea to a members home and the building was as filthy and run down as the apartments were in1991. One of the men in our group wondered ” if the wallpaper was holding up the walls”. The crowds in the Hermitage were gigantic and it was impossible to see much because of all the people. I was glad we saw as much as we had before. So please be prepared to see the wonders with a jaundiced eye because Putin and his buddies have done next to nothing for the country except spend 51 billion on Soschi for the winter games and there are so few people there. I did get to the ballet in the Kariinski theatre which was nice as it is the replacement company for the old Kirov ballet and opera. However I must admit that the new Palcco theatre in Guadalajara puts it to real shame as the Mexicans have much better architects. The history may be romantic and lovely for the ruling class but Russia is an enormous mess otherwise and the drop in the price of oil has made matters that much worse. I can honestly say that it’s one place where I’ll never return. I also firmly believe that one should never say never!
Judy, thanks for the comment. Wow, I expected things to be somewhat neglected but this level of deterioration is sad to hear about, especially when you read about the billions of rubles stashed away by a handful of Russian oligarchs with Putin at the top of the list. I just read a book that shed some light on the level of corruption there: Red Notice by Bill Browder. It’s an eye opening account of what doing business in that country is like. Well, we are going there off season so hopefully the lineups at the Hermitage will not be as bad as they would be in season. Thanks for the heads up, it helps knowing what to expect. Better than to go with high expectations and end up very disappointed.
Re: watermelons, yes, they are better in Mexico, as are avocados, tomatoes, pineapples and other fruits.
Thanks for stopping by the blog Judy, much appreciated.
Dina this is lovely and one of my favourite salads. I usually use basil, but will have to try it with mint, as I’m sure it will be completely different. St. Petersburg sounds like an amazing trip! We were almost there last summer when we were in Talin, but didn’t have enough time. Enjoy, and thanks for posting this refreshing recipe.
Hi Colleen, thanks for the comment. Yes, mint would be great with it too. We are looking forward to the trip, also stopping in Talin en route. I hope your garden is coming along, I know you have treasures there all summer.