I used to dislike watermelon. Those days are long gone though, as evidenced by the generous bowl of watermelon above. I developed a taste for it one summer a couple years ago when I decided to experiment with forgoing air conditioning. I discovered that eating watermelon felt amazing in the oppressive summer heat. It was light, cool, and hydrating – thoroughly refreshing and rejuvenating. On top of that, I found out it was quite nutritious – packed with vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A and C. Before long, I started looking for excuses to eat it, though I guess who needs an excuse when it’s so good for you?
Lately, I’ve been craving this salad. It came about because I had somehow convinced myself that buying an entire watermelon for just myself was a completely reasonable thing to do. I also had a bunch of herbs in the fridge that I needed to use up. Not only is this salad feel-good, but it’s easy to put together – perfect for a lazy, hot summer day.
Ingredients (feel free to adjust to taste)
~3 cups watermelon, 1″ cubes
1 medium cucumber, medium cubes
1.5 Tbsp red onion, finely minced
herb(s) of choice, to taste (e.g. parsley, cilantro, basil, mint) – use leaves only, torn or cut into smaller pieces
1/2 Tbsp scallion, thinly sliced
feta cheese, crumbled (I probably used ~1/3 c.)
red wine vinegar
fresh ground pepper
1. Combine red onion with a little red wine vinegar. Add a pinch of sugar. Stir and adjust to taste. Let it sit ~10 minutes.
2. Layer ingredients in a bowl to serve (discard excess red wine vinegar from onions before adding); toss very gently if needed (the less you handle the watermelon, the better).
3. Sprinkle with a little fresh ground pepper.
Prepare ahead notes: Prep ingredients and store in separate containers. Combine the watermelon, cucumber and red onion no more than a couple hours before serving. Add herbs and feta right before serving. This will prevent the salad from getting too watery, and will keep it fresh-looking.