Crete-inspired watermelon feta summer salad
Even though I’ve been back for a couple of days now, I still dream of my recent vacation to Crete. One thing I particularly enjoyed was the food. Fresh, flavorful fruit and vegetables, creamy feta cheese, delicious olive oil. The tomatoes there especially were incredible – they were rich and full of flavor, not at all like the pale, watery varieties we so often get in the Northern parts of Europe!
So in order to remind myself of the great Cretan food, I’m sharing one of my favorite summer recipes with you today. It’s super easy, quick to whip up, only needs five ingredients, and goes perfectly with grilled food or simply on its own. Sweet, juicy watermelon is paired with refreshing mint, zingy lime, and rich feta cheese – a great flavor combination for summer.
Add a tablespoon of high quality olive oil and you’re all set! I used the Cretan olive oil we brought home from the wine tasting at Manousakis Winery. That stuff is liquid gold – drizzle it over salad, over grilled vegetables, or just dip a piece of bread in it and top it off with some coarse salt… yum!
Mint and lime is also one of my absolute favorite flavor combos for the summer. I like to put some lime wedges and mint leaves in my water, or make a little drink with white wine, a bit of elderflower syrup, lime wheels, mint leaves, and sparkling water – perfect to enjoy on the balcony on a warm summer night.
This salad literally takes you 10 minutes to make, tops – five if you have pre-cut watermelon chunks – and it’s served immediately, so no prep time required at all. Five ingredients, and only a minimal amount of chopping necessary. How easy is that?
Watermelon feta salad with lime and mint
400g fresh watermelon
100g feta cheese
Handful of fresh mint leaves
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp olive oil
Start by cutting the watermelon into chunks. Instead of buying a whole watermelon, I usually just buy the pre-cut chunks from Irma – they also have the black seeds removed already. I prefer relatively small cubes, but you can cut them as big or small as you like. Wash the mint leaves and finely chop them. Squeeze the lime and toss the lime juice and olive oil with the watermelon and mint leaves. Cut the feta cheese into small cubes and put on top of the salad. Serve immediately.
Et voilà! Doesn’t this look delicious? Sometimes I whip up a portion of this for lunch, maybe with some bread on the side. You could even prepare it in advance to take with you for a quick and fresh work lunch – just mix all the ingredients except for the feta, that should be added just before serving.
Now, all we need is some more of that sunshine so we can fire up our grills and serve this delicious, fresh summer salad – it goes really well with grilled chicken or fish. What are your favorite summer salads? Share in the comments below!