What is more summery than this salad? Ripe berries eaten off the bush? Kids running through a sprinkler? Fireflies? There may be a few contenders, but the list is short. One step further than eating each of these ingredients straight (which is a wonderfully summery thing to do as well), this simple salad plays up each component’s attributes by contrasting with the others. Crunchy cucumber, meaty tomato, and sweet watermelon, are excellent foils to fragrant lemon basil, slightly pickled onions, and salty/creamy feta bound together with fruity olive oil.
This is my Potter Hill CSA recipe for the week, and everything in the salad except the cucumber is in the share (the cucumber is also from Paul, I just bought it separately). The rest of the share was 2 pints of cherry tomatoes, husk cherries, purple potatoes, and savory. I’m going to use the rest of the lemon basil and red onion in these soba noodles (and I’m going to sub nectarines for the mango). I used the cherry tomatoes and leftover bok choy from last week in a Thai curry with tofu from Dinner (which is almost identical to this recipe, but with shiitake mushrooms instead of crimini, and cherry tomatoes and bok choy instead of the snap peas). The husk cherries just got eaten as a snack, and I’m not sure what the fate of the purple potatoes is yet. Maybe potato salad? Or over Dijon lentils?
Watermelon, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad with Feta and Lemon Basil
I listed quantities for each ingredient, but don’t worry about sticking to them too strictly. Use what you have, and just try to balance the ingredients.
- 1/2 a small watermelon (~4 cups once chopped)
- 1 lb of tomatoes (I used one monster yellow tomato, but 2-3 normal sized ones would be plenty)
- 1 small cucumber (1/2 lb)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion (1 very small onion)
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (this is the time to bring out the good stuff)
- 4 ounces of feta, cubed
- a large handful of lemon basil (regular basil or cilantro would also work)
- 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
Put the sliced red onion in a small bowl and top with the vinegar. Stir to coat.
Cut the tomato and watermelon into 1″ cubes. Chop the cucumber. Arrange the watermelon, tomatoes, and cucumber on a platter. Scatter the red onion on top, and sprinkle the leftover vinegar over the salad. Top with the feta and basil, and then drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the whole salad. Finish with the salt and serve.