Watermelon and feta salad

Cassandra Joyce

blog - watermelon salad

Over the past few years, my dedication to the sport of running has grown immensely. I may not be the fastest on the road or trails, but the truth is that I love to run. It is my second favourite physical activity.

My first… is eating. And, yes, eating is a physical activity for me (one can get quite winded after consuming eight fajitas in a row). Through my training I have learned the importance of properly fueling my body before, during and after a run to ensure optimal performance and recovery. I know which foods work best for me in this sense and I am also aware of how important it is to rehydrate myself after a long run, especially in the heat we have been experiencing in our nation’s capital this summer!

What better way to do this than by eating bowls upon bowls of juicy watermelon? This delicious fruit is over 90% water and works perfectly fine on its own as a snack after physical activity. However, for those looking for a more unique spin on the fruit to enjoy after pounding the pavement for a few miles, this salad will act as an excellent dish for a summer meal.

When I first made this meal and told my man-friend of the ingredients it was apparent that he was somewhat skeptical. “Cheese and watermelon? Together? But… why?” Therefore I couldn’t help but be proud of myself when he took some leftovers to work to brag to his health-conscious co-workers about “how ridiculously well his beautiful, smart and talented red-headed girlfriend cooks.” I may have paraphrased slightly there, but I’m pretty sure that was the gist of the conversation.

You will need (serves 8):

– one medium or large watermelon (preferably seedless!)

– 4 limes

– 8 oz of your favourite feta cheese

– 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

– 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

– 2/3 cup pitted black olives

– parsley, mint or cilantro to taste (optional)

– one small red onion, chopped (optional) 

Directionsblog - watermelon salad

1) If you have opted to add the red onions, let them steep in two limes worth of juice for about 20-30 minutes

2) Remove the watermelon from its rind and cut into chunks. I usually chop them into roughly 1 inch by 1 inch chunks. You will want to chop or crumble the feta cheese and add it now to the watermelon pieces in a large mixing bowl. If you have opted to use any of the listed herbs, add these now to the mix as well, and stir in so it is integrated as part of the salad, and is not simply a garnish.

3) Add the steeped onions with their juice to the salad. Stir in the olives and add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Gently toss the salad with your hands so the watermelon doesn’t lose its shape.

4) Time for a taste test! Add more lime juice if necessary, but otherwise the salad should be ready to eat! If you’re preparing ahead of time, make sure to refrigerate before enjoying.

And one last picture of the furry boys to ensure a Happy Wednesday!

blog - boys

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Watermelon and feta salad

  1. Cassandra, I’m a huge fan of this. I’m on a serious feta kick. So much so that it’s been the only type of cheese in the fridge for two weeks! I like the idea of adding olives, it’s something I wouldn’t have thought of.

    Last week James and I went to brunch and I ordered a watermelon and avocado salad. The watermelon was served in thin slices with avocado inbetween. Again, not a pairing I would have considered on my own but very delicious!

    • I’ve made this with avocado before! The texture is amazing and the flavours blend together nicely. I didn’t add it to this version of the recipe at the risk of it looking too complicated, but I highly recommend it if you make this salad in the future!

  2. Cassandra, that seems a perfect end of summer dish! Melons are still in season, feta is the # 1 cheese at this time because that salty tang pairs so well with fresh, juicy, fruity ingredients. Love the olives. Have you tried it with unripe green olives? which are by the way, the best martini olive and speaking of cocktails…….I made Bourbon/Watermelon Sours this summer. Don’t knock it till you try it. Jesse, the watermelon/avocado salad seems reasonable to me because I like a mango/avocado salad w/a lime dressing & sheep’s feta…….bet the olives would be good with that.

  3. Watermelon is one of those foods that I get serious, serious cravings for — in fact, when I saw your salad photo, I wanted some watermelon immediately!

    I had to laugh about Dave’s reaction, because a couple of years ago, I heard of a similar salad (cucumber instead of olives, and no onion, but watermelon, feta and mint),and I also thought the combo sounded too weird to be good. But when I tried it, I thought it was delicious.

    But I have to say that those lazy boys at the end of your post do NOT look as though they are interested in food to fuel a running habit!

    • Mmm, I added cilantro to the one I made most recently, but mint would be excellent too! We made watermelon mojitos the other week with fresh watermelon, mint we’ve grown on our back porch and some of the rum we brought back from Cuba!

      • All of the variations on the salad sound delicious. But I just want to add that if Dave is as smart as I think he is, he will continue to describe you to his friends and co-workers in the same glowing terms.

  4. I love watermelon. I rarely buy it because I can’t bring myself to carry it home from the grocery store (I feel like carrying groceries is my most common yet least liked physical activity). The other day I had cucumber raita with watermelon…they weren’t served together I just thought it might be good and after some Googling other people apparently thought the same thing…and it was surprisingly delicious! I feel like watermelon is more versatile than we all thought!

    • One day when Adrian and I were grocery shopping – I think it was early June – we picked up one of those big slices of watermelon that looked good (we tend to inspire one another to get watermelon when we shop together). A tiny elderly lady came up and grabbed my arm, and pointed out that we could get a whole watermelon for less than twice as much as we were paying for a slice that was equal to about 1/16th of a whole melon. I thought of pointing out that we would find it hard to eat a whole, big watermelon, and fridge space, and blah, blah, blah. And then I looked into her resolute blue eyes, and she reminded me of Nanny, and I thought “Oh, it’s easier to just get the whole watermelon.” So I thanked her for her kind concern and we took home a big melon. (I seem to recall that she even helped us pick a good one.) And it was really, really good. And all three of us (I mean Adrian, Bob and me, not Adrian, the old lady and me) ate it every day until it was gone. I could have used this recipe, and about a dozen more that week! But I agree with everything you’re all saying…it’s probably an ingredient that we just put on fruit plates, and it can be so much more.

      Damn, I really want some watermelon now. Shut up about it, girls.

    • I’m with you on the carrying of groceries! I often vow to eat less, but it never works. I am forever hauling groceries. Here, they sell small watermelons though. Like the size of a large canteloupe. I find they are more consistently perfectly ripe than the large beasts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s