There is hardly a fruit I have met that I don't like - some fruit I love (my apple a day habit) and then there is my personal passion fruit. I am devoted to watermelon. I know that watermelon is available year round now but it is never quite as good the rest of the year as it is when it is truly in season. When I was a child I practically counted the days until it was summer again and it was not truly summer until watermelon was in the stores and my mother bought one to bring home. It was a summer evening ritual to slice a round of watermelon and carefully cut the rind off leaving the beautiful circle of red flesh whole. I remember sitting across the table from my dad, each of us with our circle of watermelon on a plate and a fork in hand, carefully eating our way around the slices from least sweet to the precious super-sweet bit at the centre, talking about the events of our days as the light grew dim. I knew friends and cousins salted their watermelon, a practice that appalled me then and baffles me now - watermelon being so perfect the way it grows! I have seen recipes for watermelon this and that and never been even the tiniest bit tempted and then, fatefully, I was at a summer evening bbq with friends and we ate the most amazing watermelon salad. Ever. I had three (yes, three) servings before the night was over and could not wait to make it at home. I cannot encourage you enough to do the same. It is easy, easy, easy and absolutely delicious .... (unless you, like my unfathomable brother, do not like watermelon.)
I maintain that watermelon is perfect all on it's own but the combination of ingredients in this salad is sublime - sweet crisp watermelon, rich salty feta, and the peppery freshness of the greens - each enhancing the other. It is simply another way to enjoy the best fruit of summer.
To call this a recipe feels a bit grand - maybe think of it as a suggestion. My friend simply told me "watermelon, arugula, feta, and poppy seed dressing from a bottle". I prefer to make my own dressings (because it is easy and then I know just what is in them) so I tried two versions for this - one with balsamic vinegar for the acid and the other with lemon juice.We loved them both; I have a slight preference for one, while David has a slight preference for the other. Guess it doesn't much matter :) I can only say that my my life will never be the same.
watermelon, feta & arugula
4 cups baby arugula greens
3 cups watermelon cubes
1 cup crumbled feta
1 Tbsp plain greek yogurt
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (or 4 tsp fresh lemon juice)
Put the greens, watermelon, and feta in a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk together yogurt, olive oil, and vinegar (or lemon juice). Pour the dressing over the greens and watermelon. Toss lightly.