I know it might be hard for some who read my blog to believe me, but I LOVE fruits, vegetables and salads. Even when I was growing up and we always got to pick what we wanted for dinner, I’d always pick salad bar where my mom would just put out everything you can imagine for salads and we’d pile up on all the good stuff. One of my favorite things on top of all the lettuce was cottage cheese, pineapple and ranch dressing.
I have really branched out over the years and this salad I had today was fantastic, just as good as I remember it when I first had it a couple years ago in one of the cooking classes I was taking in Kansas. Most of the classes I took from my favorite chef, Paige (A Cooking Life Blog), were in a setting where the class watched her prepare and talk about each recipe (and then got to eat each of the delicious things she prepared!). This particular one was a three coarse dinner. My parents were in town and Kevin and I took my parents to the class. Paige teamed up for the class with another great chef, Nancy Stark. Nancy prepared this salad and while doing so and talking about watermelon with the tomatoes and feta with lime and mint and jalapeno, all four of us thought it sounded rather strange and we were skeptical about it being good. Then we were served the salad and we all thought it tasted great! I have thought about it many times since then and have wanted to make it, but never did until finally now.
The salad was super easy to prepare. Sam talked me in to buying a watermelon at the grocery store. I was skeptical about it being good since they aren’t really in season yet, but the mini seedless one I bought that came from Mexico is/was very good. I’m so glad I made this salad. I made a few minor adaptations, but it still tasted the same as I remembered it. I know my photos isn’t the greatest, I hadn’t decided to blog about it until I took a bite or two and remembered how nice the watermelon went with the lime, mint and feta cheese. You’ll want to make this salad soon! I just made one quick serving of it and didn’t really measure things. But here’s the recipe from class with my changes and the original ingredients as well. You’ll never guess one of the things I left out-----onion. Surprise. ;)
Watermelon Salad with Tomato and Feta, adapted by Katrina from Paige and Nancy
3 cups mixed baby greens (in the class, arugula was used)
1 cup loosely packed flat-leave parsley leaves (I chopped them)
1 cup loosely packed mint leaves (I chopped them)
2 pounds seedless watermelon, rind removed, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and julienned (I omitted this, but would have added it if I’d have had one)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, rinsed in cold water (I totally omitted this. ;)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine the greens, parsley and mint and divide between 4 serving plates.
Put the watermelon and tomatoes into a large bowl.
Add jalapeno (and onion, if using) and toss gently. Spoon this mixture, along with the juices, over the greens. Sprinkle each salad with feta and drizzle with olive oil. Squeeze half a lime over each salad, season generously with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Really, you’ve got to try this. I love all the combination of flavors together.