Earlier this week we tipped you off to what Slate calls the "ideal ingredient to complement watermelon" — feta. It's true: the salty creaminess of good feta turns watermelon from a simple treat into something dressed for a dinner party. It's still very simple — here's how I like to make my own watermelon and feta salad.
This salad is ultra simple. I cut up about half a small watermelon (see the easiest way to do that here) and toss it with a few things to bring out its flavor. A dash of rice vinegar balances the sweetness and makes the salad even juicier.
This salad is best made right before serving. If it sits in the fridge overnight I find it can get a little slimy and too juicy. Made just a few minutes before serving, the watermelon is crisp and fresh, and the cheese creamy and bright. The mint isn't just a garnish; its taste penetrates the watermelon quickly.
To me, this is up there with caprese salad as one of the ultimate expressions of summer.
Watermelon Salad with Feta & Mint
6 cups watermelon cubes, from about 1/4 of a large watermelon
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 ounces feta cheese, drained and crumbled
1 loosely packed cup fresh mint leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Flaky sea salt
Pour off any juice that has gathered around the watermelon. Toss gently with the rice vinegar. Toss with the feta cheese crumbles, just until the watermelon begins to look lightly coated.
Chop the mint leaves very, very finely, into tiny ribbons. Toss with the watermelon and spread in a serving bowl. Garnish generously with black pepper. Taste. If desired, add a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Serve immediately.
(Images: Faith Durand)