It’s amazing how when you put something out there, the Universe will respond accordingly. Lately I’ve been thinking of the trip we took to Israel a couple of summers ago. More specifically, I’ve been recalling a meal we enjoyed at a beachfront cafe in Tel Aviv, where I tentatively ordered a watermelon feta salad. I wasn’t sure about the flavor combination, but my culinary curiosity was piqued. I reasoned that it had good potential since the two components of the dish were both items that Israel does well- watermelon and feta. And, of course, it turned out to be wonderful, a delicious contrast of cool sweet juiciness and salty creaminess.
So when summer began to brighten these parts a couple of weeks ago, I decided to try and recreate the dish. I found a couple of decent recipes on the internet but nothing that inspired any action. And then a week ago, as I was paging through a glossy magazine while I was waiting to see my Optometrist, I happened upon a picture of gorgeous hot pink watermelon cut into perfect squares. Arugula leaves were artfully scattered around the watermelon. Neat white cubes of feta were tucked into place. A moderate slick of vinaigrette gave the dish a real sheen. “My watermelon feta salad” I recognized with a slight thrill. And then I did something I’m not proud of. I ripped out the page.
This salad is good, because, as is written in the glossy magazine (InStyle, I think) it is “sweet, salty, tangy and hot”. It hits all the points of your palate. I changed it a little to make it more home-cook friendly but it’s still a taste trip. Thank you Universe, now how about a really good low-fat cheesecake recipe?
Watermelon Feta Salad
- 1/3 c. olive oil
- a squirt of lime
- 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp red onion, minced or 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tbsp. garlic chili sauce or 1/2 tsp. tabasco-type sauce, if you like it hot.
- 3 tbsp. water
- 2 or 3 handfuls of baby spinach (any leafy greens will do)
- half a watermelon
- half a block of feta cheese
In a jar or a cruet combine olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, red onion, hot sauce, and water. Shake well and refrigerate until ready to use. Scatter greens over a serving platter. Cut watermelon into 3″ pieces, place on top of greens. Slice feta into 1/2″ pieces, intersperse feta with the watermelon and spinach. Splash vinaigrette over the salad. Serve cold on a hot summer day.