My kids and I love summer watermelon. We usually just chomp on slices of it at the beach, but I recently incorporated it into two refreshing summer side salads.
The first was an adaptation of the classic Middle Eastern Tabouli Salad substituting watermelon for tomatoes. What a great idea! 🙂 The second was another classic Middle Eastern way of serving watermelon- with feta and basil. I made it for a party and was unable to capture it in a photo. You can (will have to!) imagine how pretty it looked. I had been unaware of how wonderful watermelon pairs with feta cheese- so simple and tasty.
The tabbouleh recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living and the watermelon-feta salad recipe was adapted from Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi. Fresh, seasonal and delicious.
Tabbouleh with Watermelon
Yield: Serves 4
- 1 1/4 cups water
- coarse salt
- 3/4 cup bulgur wheat (I used coarse red bulgur)
- 1 1/2 to 3+ cups peeled and coarsely chopped watermelon
- 2/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 ounces soft goat or feta cheese, crumbled
- Bring water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in bulgur, and remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and let stand, uncovered, until cooled, 15 to 30 minutes. (I spread the cooked bulgur out on a rimmed baking sheet to speed the cooling process.)
- Transfer bulgur to a bowl, and toss with watermelon, parsley, scallions, oil, lemon zest and juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Gently fold in cheese. Serve.
Watermelon, Basil & Feta Salad
Yield: Serves 4
- 10 oz block feta (preferable sheep’s milk)
- 4 to 5 cups of large-dice watermelon cubes
- 3/4 cups basil leaves, chiffonade
- 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
- olive oil, for drizzling
- Slice the feta into large but thin pieces, or just break it by hand into rough chunks.
- Arrange all of the ingredients, except for the olive oil, on a platter or bowl, mixing them up a little.
- Drizzle olive oil over the top and serve immediately.
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