Watermelon + Feta Salad is a wonderful addition to any warm weather gathering. Not only is it delicious, it's also a great presentation enhancer. Throw your watermelon salad back into its shell et voila, you look like a pro!
This week's wine spotlight, the 2012 Bodega Mustiguillo Mestizaje Blanco, inspired me to share a recipe of an old time favorite that will make any occasion feel just a bit brighter. The briny minerality and strong acidity in the wine matches well with the hint of saltiness and texture from the feta in the salad. The citrus, jasmine, and herbal qualities in the wine also balance the impression of sweetness in a ripe watermelon and bring out just the right amount of freshness heightened by the mint and/or basil in the salad.
I'm the type of person that likes to use recipes as a guide, but then use my tastebuds and gut to experiment with different flavor combinations and ingredients. So, feel free to use this recipe as little or as much as you wish and have fun with the pairing!
1 Large Watermelon (or pre-cut package if you want to save time)
Mint and/or Basil
Red onion (thinly sliced)
*Cucumber & Avocado are optional additions
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 TBSP Aged Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic smashed
Salt & Pepper to taste
Whisk together the ingredients for the Dressing and set aside. Yes, Dijon mustard. It does wonders for dressing. I even use it for a simple lemon vinaigrette.
Cut watermelon in half across the middle. If you wish to use your watermelon shell has a vessel for presentation, cut your watermelon into balls and place into a bowl. Otherwise, you can cut the watermelon into cubes.
Cut the red onion into thin slices and place into the bowl with the watermelon. A handful of sliced onion is usually a good guide, but the amount is dependent on how much of a kick you want in each bite.
If you want to add a little more crunch to your salad, add some cucumber.
Cut a handful of mint and/or basil leaves and add to the mix. Pour desired amount of dressing into the bowl and toss gently. To make the salad a bit more substantial while keeping it all veggie, add some cubed avocados. However, be sure to toss the dressing into the watermelon mix before adding the avocado. Otherwise, you might end up with goopy green watermelon balls. Not so appetizing to look at. Add the feta after tossing the mixure and then toss everything gently with the feta.
Serve inside the watermelon shell or in your favorite bowl and enjoy it with the 2012 Bodega Mustiguillo Mestizaje Blanco!