“It was extraordinarily tasty,” said columnist Bill O’Boyle after trying a fresh Times Leader Test Kitchen salad made of watermelon and cheese with chopped red onions and whole mint leaves.
If the ingredients sound familiar, and nice readers, you might have spotted them in Friday’s edition of Times Leader, in an Associated Press story in which Katie Workman called Katie Workman’s Watermelon Feta Salad a “new classic.”
The food writer also said you can substitute feta cheese, which I did, simply because I found goat cheese in the first store I visited.
Mark was the first to taste the salad, at home, and he really loved the way the tastes and textures of the different ingredients vary and complement each other, from the crunch of the onions to the flavor of the creamy cheese to the juiciness that oozes from the watermelon.
In the office, news editor and taste tester Roger Dupuy echoed the same sentiment
“I love this,” Roger said. “When she told me it was watermelon, I had a very nice thought in my mind. But it’s delicious, too. It’s actually a very interesting contrast between flavors and textures, with a refreshing boost of mint.”
Before trying a sample, Bill O’Boyle admitted that he’s not a big fan of watermelon. Still, he loves the finished product.
“It was really different, but it was good,” he said. “I’ve never thought of making something like this myself, and wouldn’t order it if it was offered – but it works!”
Reporter Jane Learn Andes, who enjoys watermelon all summer, said she was thrilled to try “a different way to eat it, balanced with the other ingredients.” She enjoyed the salad, as well as her first taste of goat cheese, which she now knows she loves.
“I do, I really do,” she said.
“I hope you didn’t He buys Jane added, explaining that she had some plants growing in her yard that she was going to give me.
I assured her, “I didn’t buy it.” “We have some in the yard, too.”
For me, harvesting mint leaves in the backyard was the most fun part of making the salad. It reminded me of the freshly iced tea Tanti Rose used to make during the summer when I was a little kid, and how I would pick her mint occasionally, have a cup of tea and read a book like Little Women or Heidi.
Of course, I had fun this week Eating food Salad, mint leaves and all in addition to its preparation.
Everyone who tried it seemed to enjoy it, except for obituary writer Ashley Bringman, who turned out to be the least enthusiastic.
“I don’t think that’s my favourite,” Ashley said, letting me down gently before gently adding, “I like watermelon and I like cheese, so I’m going to keep eating it.”
Without further ado, here’s the recipe, as it came from the Associated Press. You’ll notice that the name mentions feta cheese, but the recipe says it’s okay to substitute several other types of cheese.
Watermelon feta salad
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons of good balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)
6 cups cubed watermelon or frozen cubes
1 cup red onion, cut into thin slices or cubes
1 12 cups feta cheese, shredded or crumbled
1/3 cup whole mint leaves
In a bowl or small bowl, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, if using.
In a large, shallow bowl or serving platter, distribute salad ingredients evenly and attractively. Spread a layer of half of the watermelon cubes or balls, then sprinkle them with half the amount of onions, then the feta. Cut half of the mint leaves into large pieces and sprinkle them over the feta cheese. Repeat the process with another layer of watermelon, onions, feta and mint.
Shake or stir the dressing to re-mix, then pour evenly over the salad. Her feet are cold.
Variations on watermelon feta salad
• Replace mint with another herb – try chervil, basil or thyme
• Add 1 to 2 cups diced wasted cucumber
• Replace the feta cheese with crumbled goat cheese, fresh mozzarella cubes, or ricotta salad
• Add a few handful of peppery watercress leaves