Thursday, August 02, 2012
Watermelon and feta salad with roasted pumpkin seeds and balsamic vinegar
Watermelons are at their best just now - juicy and sweet, very flavoursome. Coincidentally, we've also had few rather warm days here in Estonia, with temperatures reaching 30 C. I imagine the watermelon vendors are doing a brisk business, and our family and friends are helping them rather nicely.
I had some girlfriends over for an al fresco lunch at our patio on Tuesday, and they brought along a large watermelon. We ate half of it au naturel, but were too stuffed to finish the rest. I cubed it, and chucked the cubes into the fridge. Yesterday, my mum and two of my aunties came over for an al fresco lunch (yes, it's that time of the year - and as I do like entertaining, my extended family and friends are all very welcome), so I used those chilled watermelon cubes to
a) make a simple watermelon juice (process the fruit until smooth, then press through a sieve and serve over ice cubes, diluted with some soda water, if too thick).
b) make this watermelon salad. It's an old favourite of mine that I've been making for years, and yes, the recipe was included in my first cookbook. The salty feta, juicy-fresh watermelon and nutty crispy pepitas - all drizzled with a piquant balsamic dressing - are simply wonderful together.
More watermelon salad recipes:
Watermelon, feta and lime salad @ Nami-Nami
Watermelon, feta and olive salad @ Nami-Nami
Watermelon Salad Thing @ Lootie + Doof (very cool!)
Tomato and watermelon salad @ Steamy Kitchen
Kurgi-arbuusisalat mündi ja basiilikuga @ Pisike ja Pisut Segi
Watermelon and feta salad with roasted pumpkin seeds and balsamic dressing
(Feta-arbuusisalat röstitud kõrvitsaseemnetega)
1 dl balsamic vinegar (a good supermarket brand is ok, nothing fancy)
85 g (100 ml, 7 Tbsp) caster sugar
3-4 Tbsp pumpkin seeds (hulled, of course)
1 smaller watermelon
200 g feta cheese
handful of fresh mint and/or basil leaves
Start by making the dressing. Combine sugar and balsamico in a small saucepan and bring quickly into a boil. Let bubble on a high heat for a minute, then transfer the balsamic syrup into a small bowl or jug and let cool.
Toast the pumpkin seeds on a hot skillet until aromatic and toasty. Take care not to burn them!
Cut the feta cheese and watermelon flesh into cubes (re: the size - it's up to you). Transfer onto a serving plate or shallow bowl, drizzle with balsamic dressing and scatter pumpkin seeds and mint/basil leaves on top.
Serve immediately, and let everybody help themselves to more balsamic dressing, if they want.
HINT: if you're in a hurry, you can omit the balsamic syrup bit and simply drizzle the salad with a good aged balsamic vinegar or use one of those thickened balsamic syrups from a bottle.