Cool, sweet watermelon might just be the most exquisite thing on a hot summer afternoon. We all grew up with those cool wedges at summer outdoor gatherings – 4th of July picnics, family reunions, and camping trips. While we can find it nearly everywhere at just about any time of year these days, it is still best when it accompanies the rest of Summer’s garden staples.
This savory Greek salad of melon, tomato, cucumber, and feta takes advantage of two true summer stars. The fun combination of sweet and savory juices along with the crunchy texture of cucumber makes for a refreshing warm weather salad. Simply dressed, topped with crumbled salty feta cheese and embellished with chopped fresh herbs like tarragon, dill, basil or oregano.
We like to serve this take on a classic Greek salad on a bed of peppery watercress or arugula. The sharp greens add both taste and texture. We tend to prepare more than we can eat in a sitting, so we didn’t toss the greens with the melon and tomatoes. They wilt pretty quickly and we don’t like having to pick limp strings out of the leftovers. The watercress is particularly tender and likely to dissolve into the juices of the salad
Watermelon and Watercress Salad
3 Persian cucumbers, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 small seedless watermelon, cut into 1/2′ pieces
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
A handful watercress or arugula
1 avocado, cut into 1/4″ pieces
4-6 ounces feta cheese, cubed
salt and pepper
optional: fresh herbs like, tarragon, parsley, cilantro, basil, or mint
Add the cucumbers to a bowl, and the tomatoes into another. Divide the vinegar and olive oil over each vegetable, add a little salt and pepper, and set aside to marinate for 20 minutes or so.
When ready to assemble the salad, mix the tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelon together. Taste and season with more vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. In a serving bowl, place the watercress or arugula in the bottom of the bowl, add the watermelon salad mixture with the accumulated juices. Top with avocado, feta cheese, and fresh herbs.