Watermelon Salad

As the summer winds to a close, I long to capture the freshness of the last of the summer produce that remains. This week in our CSA shipment we got the cutest, little watermelons ever in the history of the world, each about the size of a large magic 8 ball (remember those?). They were almost too adorable to cut open, but I thought what a  charming idea it would be to hollow them out and use them as bowls. Natural bowls really speak to me for some reason, be they vegetable, fruit, or bread. A hollowed out lemon filled with sorbet, a stuffed bell pepper, a red cabbage “bowl” mounded with vegetable dip, I’m not sure exactly what it is about them that is so alluring to me. I think at the heart of all of my cooking is a desire to have an end product that reads as simultaneously effortless, rustic, earthy, and chic. And, for whatever reason, natural bowls accomplish that beautifully. I started by carefully slicing one end off of each melon to create a flat, standing surface. I then cut the other end, and, using a spoon, scooped out the fragrant, ruby flesh. In a large mixing bowl I combined the watermelon (which I cubed), with half a red onion (sliced), one small English cucumber (seeded and sliced into half moons), a handful of halved kalamata olives, a generous handful of crumbled feta cheese (preferably French or Greek), and a shower of a fresh basil chiffonade (stack your basil leaves, roll them up like a cigar, and slice as thinly as possible).  In another bowl, I whisked together the zest of one lime, the juice of two limes, about a fourth of a cup of extra virgin olive oil, a couple of teaspoons of honey, four or five dashes of Tabasco (thanks to Brian at A Thought For Food for the spicy suggestion!), a dash of salt, and freshly ground black pepper. I poured the dressing over the salad, and gave it a gentle toss (as not to break up the feta any more than necessary). This salad is so fresh tasting. The sun sweet melon, salty olives, tangy cheese, the slight heat from the onions and Tabasco, the brightness of the lime juice, the ever-so-slight sweetness from the honey, and the minty, fresh basil all harmonize together perfectly.  It’s crisp, crunchy, and flavorful. And the melon bowl, well, it kills me. Enjoy!  (If you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to enter for your chance to win my first giveaway – a $50 gift card to Williams-Sonoma!!!)

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25 Comments

Filed under Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetables

25 responses to “Watermelon Salad

  1. refreshing and unbelievable beautiful!

  2. The presentation is beautiful! I love the flavor combination of watermelon with feta!

  3. I love it. What a great idea. Your photo better be in the top 9 tomorow! This is a beauty!

    • Hey Nicole,

      LOL Thanks! I hope so too… fingers crossed! =) Though it is never the pictures that I think SHOULD make it on the top 9 that actually wind up doing so. Who knows.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I have been dreaming of this very salad (albeit not in the darling bowls) for days now and just popped a melon in the fridge for it. Thanks for getting me all the more ready for that sweet, salty, crunchy, juicy bite!

  5. The photos look gorgeous and the salad sounds absolutely delicious! I agree with Nicole on the Top 9, so good luck :-)

  6. Oh… what I’d give for another bowl of watermelon salad. This looks wonderful and I love all of the ingredients in your recipe (especially the Tabasco ;-) ).

  7. What a great looking salad – love the mini watermelon. I actually have a magic 8 ball on my desk at work.

  8. Love, love, love watermelon salad. Never thought to add the greek-inspired ingredients, but I’m going to for dinner tomorrow night. Thanks for a great idea!

  9. What a lovely presentation! I am sure it will taste good too:D

  10. What a fantastic salad, looks so refreshing!

  11. I do love those personal-sized watermelons. The NY Times did a piece on them a while back: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/18/dining/18melons.html?scp=1&sq=watermelon&st=cse What a delightful surprise to find them in your CSA box this week! Buzzing you and hoping to see you in the top 9!

  12. This is beautiful! I first discovered feta cheese with watermelon a few years ago and I am hooked…love it!

  13. This is so pretty and I’m sure it must be delicious as well. I found my way here via the FoodBuzz Project Food Blog competition. I must tell you that I love the food and recipes you feature here. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do for the next challenge in the competition. Good luck! I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

    • Hi Mary!

      Welcome, I’m glad you found me! Thanks so much. That means a lot coming from such a seasoned blogger such as yourself. =) I’m not sure yet what I will be doing for the first challenge. I figured I would give myself a day or two to mill it over before diving in. (I just entered yesterday!)

      Thanks for dropping by! =)

  14. I can’t get over your photographs – they are so gorgeous! Great post.

    – Ellen

  15. Gorgeous pictures! I have made watermelon salad with mint before, but not the basil and olives. A different play on the sweetness of the watermelon.

  16. wow that presentation is stunning! Great job!

  17. All the food looks great!Amazıng!

  18. Refreshing…that’s the only word I can think of for it. It looks so very, very good.

  19. great colors. this looks delicious.

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