There are few things better than mid-summer produce. I keep singing its praises, but can you blame me? There are few things better than the scent of a mid-summer peach or the delicate flavor of a juicy hunk of watermelon.
This is my favorite time of the Summer. The city is its quietest as New Yorkers are eagerly attempting to cram in one last trip to the beach or out of town before Fall starts and ruins all our fun. I, for one, am eagerly waiting Alex’s arrival back from Aspen just one week from today and am enjoying the last few lazy dinners by myself before I pick up cooking full time again for two. After a full day of work, this watermelon salad seemed like the best option to enjoy a quick delicious meal and an excuse to eat an entire bowl of delicious melon.
The easiest way to cut a watermelon in chunks is to cut off the top and bottom, rest it on one of its now flat sides, and use the front third of the knife (closest to the tip) to cut the rind off lengthwise. From there you can cut it into slices, then chunks. Everything else assembles rather easily. Balsamic vinaigrette seems rather fancy, but really it’s just simmered vinegar and it’s so worth it. The vinegar takes on a sweeter flavor and becomes the consistency of honey. You can make more if you’d like as it’s guiltless and delicious on salads or to dip vegetables in.
At first you might wonder why this watermelon/feta combination is such a classic. I can’t blame you. I did, too. I promise it’s worth a try. The creamy, salty feta crumbles compliment the juicy, light watermelon perfectly. I chose pre-crumbled feta as opposed to a block in brine because it was less wet and had a lower salt content. I didn’t want it to overwhelm the salad. I can’t wait to test this out on Alex to see if he loves it as much as I do.
watermelon feta salad with balsamic reduction
makes 8 servings
1 cup balsamic vinegar
8 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
1/2 cup mint, coarsely chopped
4 ounces feta crumbles, crumbled
Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately lower the heat to low and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until the balsamic reduces by about half and will coat a spoon. Set the reduction aside to cool or put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to achieve this faster. In a bowl, toss together the large chunks of watermelon, the mint and the feta cheese until well combined. Serve the salad cold and drizzle the balsamic over it upon serving.