Watermelon salad with feta cheese is delicious dish that combines contrasting flavours and textures of sweet and juicy watermelon with salty feta cheese, resulting in a stunning salad that is perfect for the warm summer months. The finest feta cheese should be purchased direct from its brine bath. If it is pre-packaged, it should have some of the brine in the packaging to keep it moist. Feta cheese is best when eaten fresh, so always check the date. If you will not be consuming it immediately, store feta cheese in a brine or milk bath. The milk bath will reduce the saltiness and help keep the cheese moist and mild in flavor. Properly stored in brine or milk and refrigerated, feta cheese will last up to 3 months. Feta cheese is not a candidate for freezing.
Watermelon is unrelated to melon and takes its name from the fact that its fruit’s sweet spongy flesh is 90% water. Watermelons can be round or oblong and tend to be very large. Their hard skins can be striped or mottled, and range from golden yellow to dark green in colour. Their seeded flesh is usually pink or yellow.
juice of ½ lemon
sprinkling of fresh thyme
4 large slices of watermelon, chilled (seeded)
1 frisée lettuce, core removed
130 g feta cheese, preferably sheep’s milk feta, cut into bitesize pieces
handful of lightly toasted pumpkin seeds
handful of sunflower seeds
10 – 15 black olives
2 – 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp vinegar of choice, or to taste
pinch of ground cumin
Pour the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar into a bowl or jug (pitcher). Add the fresh thyme and ground cumin, and whisk until well combined. Set the dressing aside until you are ready to serve the salad.
Cut the rind off the watermelon and remove as many seeds as possible. Cut the flesh into triangular-shaped chunks.
Put the lettuce leaves in the bowl, pour over the dressing and toss together to combine thoroughly.
Arrange the leaves on a serving dish or individual plates and add the watermelon, feta cheese, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and black olives. serve the salad immediately.