Smoky Watermelon Salad

Written by Karen on September 13th, 2011

I hope I don’t get in trouble for saying this, but we are having an incredible summer.  Unlike 90% of our country, California weather has been mild and mellow.  And while the wine grapes are a few weeks behind with harvest, melons are at their sweet peak right now.

It may shock you to learn that watermelon is loaded with water LOL.  But that’s a good thing, as many of us could use more hydration in our bodies, beyond wine:).  In addition to high water content, watermelons are an excellent source of several vitamins.  Vitamin A, which helps maintain eye health and is an antioxidant; vitamin C, which helps strengthen immunity, heal wounds, promote healthy teeth and gums; and vitamin B6, which aids brain function and helps convert protein to energy.  And did ya know?  Watermelon is a great source for lycopene – even more than tomatoes -  a powerful antioxidant that helps fight heart disease and several types of cancer, prostate cancer in particular.

So, as is often the case here…even those foods that are delicious are also good for you.

Watermelon Salad – Serves 6-10

This is a great party dish. I love the sweet and savory combination.  And you may recall, I am also a fan of Smoked Olive Oil which gives it a grilled nuance without being overpowering.  The cayenne pepper offers an extra kick.

1/3 cup smoked olive oil – any flavor (if you use the Santa Fe, you might back off on the cayenne)
3 T fresh lemon or lime juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 8-lb seedless watermelon cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 cup crumbled feta (I prefer goat)
2 TB chopped green onion
1 cup coarsely chopped basil leaves
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the watermelon, feta and onion and toss gently. Garnish with the basil and cayenne and serve pronto.

6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Sep
    13
    4:01
    PM
    Shirley @ gfe

    Oooh, I love watermelon, and watermelon and feta is great! Now you’ve added a smoky factor? I can’t wait to find some smoked olive oil and try it. Darn that Mom and Dad’s watermelons this season are a thing of the past already. I did enjoy creating with them this summer. I shared the bennies of watermelon in one post, too. Really awesome! Good thing as I lived on it during college summers. ;-)

    Thanks, Karen! xo,
    Shirley
    Shirley @ gfe´s last [type] ..7 Links—Reflections on Past Posts

  2. Sep
    13
    9:07
    PM
    Laddie Hall

    seedless watermelons are an easy choice!
    heirloom varieties are all with seeds!
    choice for the consumer.

  3. Sep
    13
    9:43
    PM
    Karen

    Yes, Shirley I think we’re about the only region to still have melons in their prime right now. Thx for stopping by again.
    Laddie – good point! I tried it with the seeds…more flavor and lots of fiber:)

  4. Sep
    14
    3:10
    PM
    Dawn

    Where can I get smoked olive oil? I’ve never even heard of it but it sounds wonderful!

  5. Sep
    14
    8:51
    PM
    Karen

    Dawn – The Smoked Olive Oil folks are all over the North Bay farmers markets…plus Williams Sonoma and Tyler Florence stores. Or you can come back to Napa and get some here:)

  6. Sep
    17
    10:18
    AM
    Suzanne

    Yum, this sounds so good — I’m going to give it a try this week!

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  1. Weekly Gluten-Free Roundup – September 18, 2011 « Celiac Kitchen Witch