Chopping and tossing. That’s pretty much it. Watermelon feta salad is a refreshingly cool, slightly sweet/salty swing that’s perfect for summer. The best part? No cooking (well, unless you want to toast cumin seeds, but that’s really up to you).
I first published this recipe in 2017. Given that there’s a heatwave in Italy right now, I have no desire to turn on the oven and since one of our watermelons is ripe and ready for harvesting, I thought it was time to look at this recipe anew.
Did you grow up around friends who put salt on their watermelon wedges? I did, and I thought it was strange. Why not just eat a slice; spit the seeds as far as you can; and then run off to go swimming? Then I grew up and my taste buds changed. Now a savory approach is one of my favorite ways to eat watermelon. With just a little prep, this can be a side dish or a whole meal.
Happy tummy. Cool kitchen. Enjoy!
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Watermelon Feta Salad
- 6 cups watermelon, large diced and de-seeded
- 7 ounces feta cheese, cubed
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 scallions
- Zest of 1 orange
- Juice of 1 orange. Alternatively, juice of 1/2 grapefruit
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint, basil, or cilantro. Alternatively, 1 teaspoon finely minced tarragon (a little goes a long way, so go lightly)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Coarse salt to taste (at time of serving, only)
- Remove the rind and seeds from the watermelon and cut the melon into bite sized cubes. Place in a large bowl
- Dice the feta cheese into small cubes. Place in the bowl with the watermelon
- Finely chop the scallions and put them in the bowl with the melon
- Finely chop the mint, basil, cilantro or tarragon and place it in the bowl with melon
- If you choose, heat the cumin seeds in skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes
- Crush the cumin seeds and black pepper using a mortar and pestle, bottom of a glass, or meat tenderizer (in a bag). Keep a little texture, do not grind to a powder. Place in little mixing bowl
- Zest the orange and place zest in the bowl with the cumin seeds
- Juice the orange or grapefruit and place in the bowl with the cumin seeds. Whisk to combine
- Pour the juice, zest and spice mixture over the melon mixture and gently mix to combine
- Refrigerate between 1-3 hours to let the flavors “meld.” Prior to serving, re-mix to distribute juices. Salt to taste (optional). Serve chilled with a slotted spoon