Probably the way you do, when we get a watermelon we just slice and eat. If it has seeds in it (almost always), we’ll take it outside so we can just spit the seeds out and not worry about making a mess. It’s a tradition. This time, our melon from the CSA was seedless, and, while we could have just eaten it slice by slice, we knew that we should take advantage of its barren nature by making something special that we don’t normally have. We thought about watermelon and tomato salad, but, to be honest, we’d already eaten all our fresh tomatoes, and the melon would be gone before we got more, so that was out.
So, we came up with the idea of watermelon and feta salad. Well, we didn’t come up with it. We’re sure that we’ve seen it someplace, but at this remove, where? We’ve not a clue. So, we can’t point you toward the original source, but we can show you how we scratch up our own version.
Fresh limes are the way to go. Wash them very thoroughly before using, since you’ll be ingesting some of the zest. Fresh mint, too. And a nice salty feta cheese. Perfect.
Procedure in detail:
Zest and juice. Zest one of the limes. We use a microplane for removing the zest. It works extremely well, but, since the microplane is very sharp, we have to be really careful so we don’t zest our thumbs (again). Juice both limes and remove the seeds, if any.
Combine melon, zest, and cheese. Place the cut melon in a large (2-quart) bowl, and top with the feta cheese crumbles and lime zest. Gently toss to combine without breaking apart melon pieces.
Add mint. Sprinkle the fresh mint over the top and toss lightly. Doesn’t freshly-cut mint smell clean?
Add juice and season. Drizzle the salad with the lime juice, trying to coat all the melon, then add a few crackles of ground black pepper. If you wish, you can give the salad one last light toss.
Top with nuts. Sprinkle the cashews over the top and serve immediately.
Simple, and perhaps possessed of flavors you don’t associate with watermelon. This salad was delicious, refreshing, and made a perfect light lunch. Lime and mint make such a nice combination, and, when mixed with the natural sweetness of the melon and the saltiness of the feta — well, you’ll have to try it to believe it. The only possible change is that we might use just a bit less lime next time, perhaps the juice from 1 and 1/2 limes as a starting place and adding more if needed. But even as is, this is a five-star salad.