Feasting & Beasting #2
The wonderful thing about salads is that you can always make them ahead and toss them right when guests are just getting in the door. This leaves you time to worry about other important things, like the Turkey (which I will tell you about tomorrow).
I love this particular watermelon+feta+mint recipe because it's light and refreshing - which makes it perfect for our wretched weather - AND it's perfectly in theme with the bright and cheery christmas colours of bright red and lush green. So even if you don't deck the halls, at least your table will be dressed to impress with this festive starter.
My version is adapted from Paula Deen's original recipe (I add kalamata olives and basil leaves), but it tastes just as good without the additional items.
- 1 (5-pound) watermelon
- 1 Vidalia or other sweet onion
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 6 whole mint sprigs
- Kalamata olives (optional)
- Basil leaves (optional)
Cut the flesh from the melon and cut into bite size pieces, removing and discarding the seeds, and set aside. Peel and slice the onion into rings.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, pepper, and whisk until salt is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, a few drops at a time. Add in the chopped mint, taste, and adjust seasonings.
In a large bowl, combine the melon, onion, and feta. Pour the dressing over the melon mixture and toss gently until everything is coated and evenly mixed. Garnish with mint sprigs.
To serve, divide salad among individual plates and garnish with mint leaves.
I like to make little melon balls with a melon scoop, but to save time, cut the watermelon pieces into squares instead. Make this the morning of the dinner (or the night before if you are having lunch) so that all the ingredients have some time to chill in the fridge.
With the heavy turkey, roasts, and sauces, this salad will be a welcome sight for most at your dinner table this Christmas night!