This is hardly a recipe, more like a set of instructions, but I wanted to share it before this long weekend of picnics and cookouts and gatherings, because it is so good and so simple and so perfect for this last official weekend of summer.
I first had this in South Africa several years ago, as part of a big beautiful lunch spread at a safari camp. I was impressed by its simplicity, and I had never seen the combo of watermelon and feta before and thought it very exotic. I have since seen many more dressed-up versions of this – drizzled with vinaigrette, tossed with olives, served with onions slivers. But I love this simple, fresh, three ingredient original. I was recently invited to dinner at a friend’s, and we all volunteered to bring something. Before I expressed a preference, I was ordered to bring “that watermelon salad” by another friend (not the hostess)! It reminded me of just how good this salad is. You can obviously make a larger or smaller batch for your gathering.
Watermelon and Feta Salad
I highly recommend using blocks of feta cut into chunks. Don’t be tempted by the pre-crumbled variety here as it tends to break down and coat the watermelon with a sandy grit.
½ of a medium-sized watermelon
2 (8-ounce) blocks of feta cheese
A nice big handful of fresh mint leaves
Cut the pink flesh of the watermelon into small, bite-sized chunks and place in large bowl. I like a pretty glass one to show off the gorgeous colors. Cut the feta into chunks roughly the same size as the watermelon pieces and add to the bowl. Finley chop the mint leaves and sprinkle half over the watermelon and feta. Toss VERY gently to combine, adding the rest of the mint as you do so it is evenly distributed.
This salad does best made within an hour of serving, so the feta doesn’t break down. To make it ahead, chop the watermelon and toss with the mint, cover and refrigerate. Cut the feta into chunks and store separately in the fridge. Toss together shortly before serving.