Friday, July 17, 2015

A Summer Salad

While looking for an easy salad to bring to a bbq a few years back, I stumbled upon a version of this one.  Since then, it's the potluck item I get the most requests for when attending a summer party.  And the best part about's the easiest salad I've ever made, the base recipe consisting of only four ingredients.
Watermelon Feta Salad
1/2 seedless watermelon - cut into bite sized pieces
3 ounces feta cheese (1/2 container)
4 ounces arugula (1/2 bag)
balsamic glaze or balsamic vinaigrette - to taste
Spread arugula on a platter (or a bowl can be used).  Lay watermelon pieces over the top.  Sprinkle the cheese over the watermelon.  Dress using the glaze or vinaigrette.  Additional dressing can be left on the side for anyone who wants more.  I don't like overdressed salads, so I use it sparingly when serving.  
The only downside to this salad is it can't all be put together ahead of time due to the watermelon.  It would be a watery mess if made before leaving home.  However, the watermelon can be cut/stored ahead of time, and everything else is very portable.  Putting it all together right before eating takes a matter of seconds.  
Since this is just a base recipe, other ingredients can be easily added.  I've added slices of red onion and kalamata olives to it as well.
Another plus to this salad is because the recipe uses only half of all the ingredients, it can be made another time at home.  I made it Wednesday night for a bbq, then had a single serving of it for breakfast yesterday and for lunch today.  It's a very light, refreshing dish; great for a hot summer day.


  1. Oh that looks very good. Artistic too. I suppose in your climate there's nothing stopping yo from freezing the melon.
    We call the green stuff Rocket.

    1. Thank you. It has a good combo of flavors - the sweet watermelon, the salty cheese, and the peppery arugula. I saw photos online where the watermelon were cut into large, uniformed pieces which were then topped with the cheese and dressing - each was an individual serving. It was very pretty as well. Maybe next time.
      Yes! I remember my first trip abroad, seeing "rocket" on the menu. It was very curious, until it came out and then put two and two together.
      Never frozen watermelon on its own, but have made watermelon slushies. In college we used to soak the slices in vodka for parties. :)

    2. Not the watermelon, but the little squares. But it mightened work for a meal like it does for an icepop.

      I've just been contacted by a PhD from Rennes2 in France looking for my insight on Irish migration represented in art. An American chick living in Brittany. She's on the doctoral list for the Uni but not shown as active. Queer eh.

    3. Does "active" on the list mean teaching, studying or researching for the university? So it's weird that she's looking into this subject but not shown as working at the university? I don't know how it all works at that level, but if that's the case it might be a bit strange. Maybe the list isn't up to date? Maybe a phone call to the university would set it straight. Impressive that you've been contacted though!!
      We're having a rare thunderstorm right now so writing this with a 53lb dog shivering on my lap.

    4. She may have timed out. Or it may be that her data isn't active.
      She found me on a FB search, and sent a message in May but FB only now notified me.
      I'd be fibbing to say I'm not a bit flattered. But the other side of me says take care, it's not the first time I've encountered lazy PhDer's who found themselves trapped with too narrow a topic.
      I don't know I'll see how it goes. Curious though all the same.

    5. If it were that long ago, could she have moved to a different university at the end of the term (assuming their terms end the same as ours)?
      And at least if it's through FB, and not your personal email, you can just ignore her as a contact if it ends up being something you're not interested in. I agree, you should be proud. :)

  2. What a great, simple salad! I like the idea that you assemble it at the party... people like knowing it's freshly made. :) So pretty and I'm sure it's delicious, too!

    Arugula has become one of my favorite greens in recent years. For the longest, it wasn't easy to find around here, but now I can get it in a variety of ways (my favorite is the arugula/spinach mix). Watermelon is something I only ate sparingly as a child (always with salt), but have grown to enjoy quite a bit as an adult (though I still don't like the flavor in candy or gum). Of course I don't eat any dairy now, so the cheese is only a nice memory. I have a friend who makes her own using the milk from her fancy goats (as opposed to the brush goats we use to have). She made wonderful feta and her chevre was even better. And I think you already know how I feel about balsamic. ;) (yum!!)

    1. Yes, you'd have to adjust for the cheese. But it might still be good without it. I'd imagine homemade cheese is amazing.
      Arugula has definitely become more popular and available in recent years. I usually enjoy it in a mix as well, because it is rather distinctive. It works in this for some reason, but can be overwhelming in certain salads.
      I've never had watermelon with salt on it, but I'd imagine if it's good with the salty feta, it would be a good mixture - an easy summer treat.
      I do like watermelon, ripe watermelon, but I don't like any other melons - cantaloupe or honey dew. I've never been a fan.

    2. I meant to add, the thicker balsamic vinegar (aged longer and usually quite a bit more expensive at those O&V stores) is to die for on this salad. The dressing works great, but the glaze or thicker sweet vinegar just adds something else.

    3. You can put the cheaper vinegar in a pan and boil it off a bit that concentrates the flavour's. That's a trick I learnt from an ex's father a chef. Not so much it becomes treacle but you can boil off a bit of the liquid.

    4. I've never tried the reducing trick for the balsamic, but I had a friend that told me about it. She would also throw in a star anise.

      I'm not as fond of honeydew, but cantaloupe has been a favorite of mine all my life. In fact, I just had some with my lunch! Yum!

    5. Yum yum yum!!! The balsamic, not the cantaloupe. :)

  3. I would like some of that right now. I made a salad last night with cherries and it was splendid! Now I am starving!