Smoky Watermelon SaladWritten 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.