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)
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!