You know when you buy fruit, and it tastes okay, but nothing close to what it could taste like? Juicy, perfectly ripe and in season, and full of flavour? Well, I bought a watermelon last week that wasn’t quite living up to its potential, so I thought I’d show it a second calling-watermelon salad.
I keep seeing watermelon pop up everywhere this year – it’s on fire like pomegranate and acai berries have been in years past. And searching for the perfect salad recipe (read=easy, flavourful, not too many ingredients), I stumbled across this one from Paula Deen.
Best of all, I got to use all that mint growing in my garden. I’ve been trying to keep up with the mojitos, but mint grows like a weed!! In the most pleasant way of course. Whenever I’m feeling stressed lately, I go to my garden and rub mints leaves between my fingers to release their sweet aroma. Now that’s real aromatherapy!
Okay, back to the recipe: don’t even try to make this with dried mint. Fresh mint, or even fresh frozen mint, fine. But you won’t get the effect by going for the dried stuff.
So.. just step away.. from the spice cabinet. And buy some fresh mint! You can always use the leftovers in mojitos or in sparkling water with lemon. Bonus points if you’re already growing the stuff!
Watermelon Salad with Mint Leaves by Paula Deen
- 1 (5-pound) watermelon
- 1 Vidalia or other sweet onion
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (I used about 3 tablespoons. But I really like the mint flavour!)
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 6 whole mint sprigs
Cut the flesh from the melon and cut into bite size pieces, removing and discarding the seeds, and set aside. Peel and slice the onion into rings.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, pepper, and whisk until salt is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, a few drops at a time. Add in the chopped mint, taste, and adjust seasonings.
In a large bowl, combine the melon, onion, and feta. Pour the dressing over the melon mixture and toss gently until everything is coated and evenly mixed. Garnish with mint sprigs.
To serve, divide salad among individual plates and garnish with mint leaves.