|Tomato and Watermelon Salad with Feta Cheese
You will be surprised at how well watermelon and feta work together. Salty, sweet and refreshing, every bite bursts with flavor. This salad is truly a keeper, and an inventive way to make the most of summer produce. I love using heirloom tomatoes when I can find them. Serve with grilled fish or grilled steak.
Red Wine Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small cucumber, peeled
1/2 small red onion
3 heirloom tomatoes (about 12 ounces total), cut into bite-size chunks
3 1/2 cups peeled seeded bite-size watermelon chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-size chunks
7 ounces French feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see note)
1 cup fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE: Whisk the vinegar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil to blend well. Set aside.
MAKE THE SALAD: Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then, using a spoon, scrape out the seeds. Cut the cucumber halves crosswise into thin half-moon slices. Using a mandoline, cut the onion into 1-inch-long paper-thin slices. Toss the sliced cucumber, onion, tomatoes, watermelon, bell pepper, cheese and mint in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Serve immediately.
Do-Ahead Tip: The vinaigrette can be made up to 1 week ahead. Store it in a tightly-sealed jar and refrigerate. Let the vinaigrette stand at room temperature until the olive oil liquefies, about 20 minutes, before shaking to blend.
Cooks Note: Feta is traditionally a Greek sheep’s milk cheese, but I prefer the French variety for its mid and creamy taste. Always store tomatoes at room temperature; place them in a decorative basket in your kitchen. Refrigeration can make them pulpy and dull their flavor. Do not cut or slice the tomatoes too far ahead of time or they will oxidize and turn acidic.
Serves 6 as a side Prep Time: 15 Cook Time Recipe from Simply Zov, Rustic Classics with a Mediterranean Twist by Zov Karamardian