Watermelon feta salad is a favorite of mine. It may seem weird to the uninitiated to combine creamy, salty feta cheese with juicy, sweet melon, but the stark contrast of the flavors works phenomenally well together. Just as watermelon is balanced gorgeously when served with savory grilled steak, the tang of the crumbled feta, plus some bright lemon juice for good measure and a good glug-glug of fruity extra-virgin olive oil, turns this classic summer snack into a positively savory salad.
Even better, it’s pretty fun to eat.
It all starts with a seedless watermelon. You really only need half of one for this recipe, but I usually buy them whole anyway, since they’re such a tasty, healthy snack to have on hand. Look for a spherical melon with a dark green rind (and make sure it’s seedless—seeds are no fun to deal with in this preparation).
This is a salad for four people, and each person gets his or her own “pizza,” so slice the melon into four rounds (or more, obviously—this recipe is very easy to scale up or down).
Next, we turn our watermelon rounds into “pizzas.” This happens magically, by slicing each one into six triangular slices and placing it on a plate. Basically a pizza, right?
Add on all the toppings, and then it’s pizza time.
OK, fine, it’s watermelon salad pizza time.
It’s still pretty damn good.
½ medium seedless watermelon (7-8 inches in diameter, end removed) sliced into 4 rounds, 1 ½ inches thick $3.50
1/6 medium red onion, thinly sliced $0.50 for a whole onion
4 ounces creamy Greek, French, or Bulgarian feta cheese, crumbled $4
1 handful fresh mint leaves $1 for a bunch
Juice of ½ lemon $0.50 for a whole lemon
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil pantry
Freshly ground black pepper pantry
Estimated total cost: $9.50
Cut each watermelon round into 6 triangular slices, as if cutting a pizza.
Arrange the slices in a circle on 4 dinner plates, so it looks like you have 4 pink pizzas.
Top each “pizza” with the red onions, making sure to get some on each slice.
Scatter the feta over each pizza, making sure it is distributed evenly to each slice.
Do the same with the mint, scattering it over the slices, making sure there is at least one leaf on each slice.
Drizzle the “pizzas” with the lemon juice and the olive oil.
Top with cracked black pepper and the tiniest sprinkle of salt (the feta is quite salty, so it only needs the tiniest touch of salt).
Recipe serves 4.