Saturday, 16 June 2007

Watermelon salad

When the summer season hits, I have have several fruits vying for my affection and have difficulty deciding which I find the most tasty. Proper strawberries, when not just the big tasteless supermarket variety, are a thing of fragrant tasty beauty. Raspberries and blueberries are also potently flavorful and summery and hold mouthfulls of happiness. Every peach might not be a ripe, juicy, meaty thing, but when you find one it is stunning. And watermelons are both amazingly refreshing as well as sweet and tasty and a true taste of summer time. Beauties though they may be, they're only around for the summer and not forever, so I enjoy them as often as I can.

I love making salads with summer fruits, and one of my favorites is a watermelon and mint salad - I find it like an edible serving of Pimms. The watermelon, mint, black olive and feta cheese salad recipe has done the rounds from Nigella Lawson to Oprah Winfrey, but I've thrown in a few alterations that make my palate quite happy and reduces some of the sharpness of the raw onions. The following can be either a side salad or light starter, and should happily feed 6 (or a greedy 4). Quantities are approximate, so feel free to adjust for taste.

Watermelon salad with halloumi cheese and spring onions

  • 4-5 cups of ripe cubed watermelon, ideally seeded
  • 4 spring onions
  • 60 grams/2 oz halloumi cheese
  • 3 full springs of mint, leaves roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and a generous amount of pepper
Combine all ingredients, giving the salad a few minutes to let the balsamic vinegar seep in before serving. A healthy amount of pepper (not so much that you can't eat it) works surprisingly well with the watermelon.

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