July 8, 2012

Watermelon & Feta Salad

It was 101 degrees yesterday! We bought a huge watermelon and it took all of my willpower not to eat the entire thing. It was simply so scrumptious -- sweet and slightly crunchy not to mention refreshing and hydrating. Transforming the watermelon into a meal was the perfect excuse to eat more of it. So I made this watermelon, feta, arugula salad with a white balsamic glaze. 

Freshly ground pepper goes surprisingly well with watermelon. Try it! In addition to the freshly ground pepper on top, the equally peppery taste of the arugula is thus a great bed for the juicy and cool watermelon. I added sliced almonds to the top for a little crunch. 

This is a really nice salad for a summer's afternoon, true, but it would be equally impressive as a first or side course if you're having guests for dinner or a cook-out. Even though it's a casual and fun salad, eating watermelon in a bowl with a fork is somehow so much more refined.... Not to mention that it also helps out those of us who dribble all over our chins, shirts, and hands while munching on slices. 
Save the delicious messes for melting ice cream cones!

Watermelon & Feta Salad with White Balsamic Glaze: serves 4
5-7 oz. of arugula (Rocket Salad)
1/2 medium sized seedless watermelon, cut into 1" cubes
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
sliced almonds (toasted, optional)
8 leaves of basil, torn or carefully chopped
freshly ground pepper

White Balsamic Glaze:
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/8 cup water
Peel of one lime

Directions: Add the vinegar, white sugar, water, and lime to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir constantly 5-7 minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has thickened. Add more sugar or vinegar to suit your tastes. Remove from heat. Pour into a jar and cool in the refrigerator.

On each of four plates or salad bowls, layer the salad with arugula on the bottom, then top with cubes of watermelon. Sprinkle feta on top, then basil, almonds, and the freshly ground pepper. Drizzle balsamic glaze on top of each salad bowl and serve immediately.

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