Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Watermelon and feta salad with olives

Watermelon and feta salad / Arbuusi-fetasalat

When I first went to Greece in July 2002, I was shocked about the temperatures. I spent a week on Santorini, and it felt that the temperatures never dropped below 40 C during the day and 30 C during the night. I could hardly move, and spent my days hiding inside the conference centre (yep, I was there attending a 5-day sociology conference :)) or trying to cool down in the sea.

It's not as hot here in Estonia, of course, even if it feels like that. The daytime temperatures stay just over 30C and it "drops" to 20 C during the night (20 C, actually, is my preferred temperature for the whole summer, including day time). I pretty much haven't cooked anything during the last few days that requires me to touch the oven or the hob, and have been browsing through my recipe archives for various cold dishes to serve. Here's a cool and refreshing watermelon salad that I originally made a year ago. It tasted good then - and it was a much cooler summer. It would taste even more delicious in today's heat..

Greek watermelon and feta salad with olives
(Kreeka feta-arbuusisalat oliividega)
Serves four as a meal when accompanied with some crusty white bread.

1 kg watermelon
200 g barrel-aged feta cheese
freshly ground black pepper
about a handful or two of Kalamata olives
2 Tbsp fresh mint, leaves chopped
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

Peel the watermelon, remove the seeds and cut the flesh into bite-sized chunks. Place into a serving bowl.
Crumble the feta cheese on top, season with black pepper (straight from the pepper mill, preferably!)
Pit the olives, scatter on top of the salad alongside the chopped mint.
Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice and serve.

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