Can you feel the sun on your skin? Can you feel that chilly breeze getting warmer and warmer as the days get longer and longer, isn’t it fabulous? Somewhere between the bbq’s, beers, ice cream, smores, iced coffees, there are salads, tons of light summery fruity salads. Summer salads to me feel like a dip in the pool when it’s hot out, a perfect meal for a hot sunny day. They are filling without weighing you down, there is usually no cooking involved (unless you want to top them with steak, chicken or grilled tofu), and you can make a great salad with a minimal amount of ingredients. Enter this magic wonder of salty feta, sweet crisp watermelon, peppery arugula and a hint of olive oil, balsamic, and honey.
Before you make that face, yes that one, watermelon in a salad, with feta?! What? and my answer to that is yes and yes again. Trust me, at first I thought it was odd too, I saw these types of salads in Brooklyn restaurants for summer brunch and thought to myself… I wonder if that actually tastes good.
I mean why wouldn’t it taste good, salty feta = good, fresh vibrant watermelon = good, crisp arugula = good, yea so that settles it, this should be an awesome salad, and I was right in my logic, it was. We bought our first watermelon this year and even though I would gladly eat the whole thing, I held back to be more creative. The dressing is very light, just a bit of extra virgin olive oil, a bit of balsamic vinegar and some sweet honey. The arugula is tossed with the dressing and plated, then the watermelon is added around and in the arugula (to not bruise it), the shallots and feta are sprinkled all over to your heart’s content.
The contrasting flavors compliment each other very well and I must say a few bites of this and I truly did regret that I didn’t try this salad in a restaurant before. I will not be skeptical about food anymore, well I will try not to be.
- 1 thick watermelon slice, to make 1 cup or more, cubed
- Handful of arugula about 1 cup or more
- 1/4-1/2 small shallot or small red onion, very thinly sliced (depending how much you prefer)
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon honey, preferably liquid form
- 2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
- sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
- In a cup/small dish combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and mix well. In a medium bowl combine most of the arugula, a few pieces of watermelon, almost all of the dressing (leaving a bit to drizzle on top later) and mix lightly to not bruise the arugula.
- Place the salad on a plate and add the remaining watermelon cubes, sprinkle with feta cheese, shallot slices, remaining arugula, drizzle remaining dressing and finally add a pinch of freshly ground salt and pepper (you don't need much salt due to the salty feta).
- I add most of the watermelon after the salad is plated to not crush the arugula while mixing with the dressing.