We are lucky enough to be in the UK to enjoy the most perfect summer’s day today. Wall to wall sunshine, enough breeze to keep everything fresh, but equally warm enough for the Perky Blini to take a dip in the paddling pool. What could be better?
Such a day calls for something bright, light and fun to eat and today’s salad fits the bill perfectly. Fresh, juicy, refreshing watermelon combines with sweet and crunchy cherry tomatoes, earthy walnuts, salty feta, with a hint of chilli and a sprinkling of mint to bring it all together.
I first tried this salad whilst on holiday in Lombok (clearly whilst fully embracing the local cuisine, ahem….insert bashful emoji). It was so good I proceeded to ensure it was ordered every day for the next week, regardless of whether we actually needed a somewhat bold side salad to accompany our meal.
The version in Lombok included both red and yellow watermelon and tomatoes which was quite the showstopper. As you can see from my photos, I’ve let the side down on that front though not for lack of trying. I was assured that the watermelon I had purchased was yellow! Never has anyone been so disappointed after cutting open a watermelon…
Regardless of the presence of yellow tomatoes/watermelon, this remains a show stopper of a salad. It’s as perfect on its own as it is as a starter or just as the supporting act in a fabulously summery meal. Definitely one to try. Happy summer everyone!
700g watermelon (ideally a seedless variety)
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
Handful of walnuts
200g feta cheese
20g mint, leaves only, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
- Start by halving your watermelon. If you have one, use a melon-baller to make bite-sized balls, otherwise cut it into bite-sized cubes.
- Place a small frying pan over a high heat and add the walnuts. Cook for around 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted. Remove from the heat and roughly chop.
- In a jar, combine the olive oil, vinegar and a good pinch of salt and grind of black pepper. Put the lid on and shake well to combine or simply whisk vigorously.
- In a large bowl combine the watermelon balls, tomatoes, chilli, walnuts and mint, then roughly crumble over the feta cheese.
- Pour over the dressing just before serving, mixing thoroughly. Serve with some hunks of bread to mop up all of the delicious juice.
You can make the dressing a couple of days in advance – keep sealed in the fridge. You can prepare all of the ingredients up to 12 hours before, but don’t mix them together until you’re ready to serve.