Watermelon Salad – Pretty, Pink and Perfect for Princesses (and everyone else really)
This is a favourite of both of ours. A fast and easy dish (there’s a smutty joke to be made somewhere here) which can be used as a canapé, starter, accompaniment, part of a mezze or as a light lunch or dinner. It’s refreshing, hydrating and nutritious (click on the ingredients to see their nutritional benefits.) It may seem like a weird combination… but give it a try. We have offered a vegan alternative below but our salad is made with feta. The creamy, saltiness of the feta cheese and peppery depth of the olive oil, really offsets the crunchy, bright watermelon. The little sparkle of mint is the final flourish of freshness. Yummy and it takes just a few minutes to prepare.
If you’re into your GI/GL eating (Glycaemic Index/Glycaemic Load) – it is worth noting that although watermelon is High GI on the scale, it is actually low GL in terms of portion intake. This means that a moderate/”normal” serving of watermelon is actually not considered a heavy sugar burden. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with this way of eating, there are many books/websites about it but essentially it is a way of eating designed to regulate/stabilise blood sugar levels and avoid sugar spikes.) It is quite simple to follow and can be used in conjunction with any food lifestyle/practices you adhere to (e.g. gluten-free, vegan, dairy free etc.) If you are diabetic or are carefully watching your blood sugar levels, then take advice from your doctor/nurse as to whether this dish can be incorporated into your diet and be mindful or everything you are eating/drinking on the same day. So just use your own common sense and work within the guidelines you have been given.
If you’re intolerant to cow’s milk, buy feta cheese made entirely from sheep/goat milk instead. If you’re vegan, then of course you can leave the feta cheese out and could try one of the vegan feta alternatives available in shops. Another option would be to marinate a firm Tofu overnight in lemon juice and then season it with salt to try and replicate the salty freshness and creaminess of the cheese (rather than trying to mimic the actual cheese itself, if you get the difference.) We’ll leave that to you but if you have a go at the Tofu suggestion, let us know how you get on!
As with lots of our dishes, this is barely a recipe as we’re not even giving you quantities here. You can do everything to suit your own taste and your quantities will vary depending on how many you’re feeding and whether this is a starter portion or a main dish. Just use your common sense. Unless you’re baking there’s really no need to get totally uptight about weighing everything. Go with the flow. Use your instinct and intuition. Breathe the Watermelon… Feel the Watermelon… Be the Watermelon. (You get what we mean!)
What you need:
- Chilled Watermelon
- Good quality Feta Cheese (organic if possible) – Vegans – read the suggestions above
- A good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Fresh Mint (chopped or torn just before serving)
How to make it:
You can slice your watermelon into thick or thin pieces but avoid anything too huge and chunky… make sure the size of each piece is fork appropriate and then place it onto your serving dish! The feta cheese/tofu can be cut into little cubes or just crumbled with your fingers and scattered over the sliced watermelon. Then drizzle with good Extra Virgin oil (almost like it is a seasoning) and finish with a scattering of fresh mint. If you’re doing this as a canapé, make sure your watermelon is bite-sized and thick enough to pick up (you can be really fancy and use a small biscuit/pastry cutter to cut the watermelon into pretty shapes as the base of the canapé.) Put the feta/tofu on top and then a pretty mint leaf and you’re done. Taste explosion. Ready to eat!
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