Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Can You Say "Watermelon Salad" In French?

"What is this! Are we in Paris?"

The things my kids say sometimes when they see different food makes me laugh. The way they say it can make it even funnier, like when my son said this in a French accent the night he sat down to eat this.

The idea of this strange dinner was still churning in his mind and a few seconds later he said, "Ohhhhh, it's meatless Monday!" Yes, it was meatless Monday and, yes, this was dinner since when ate a late lunch during a hike that day.

But it also was a humid day and the air was unusually still. The cool air that normally rises from the icey cold river nearby was no where to be found or, at least, didn't reach our back deck that night. This meal was a great way to beat the heat. It was light and refreshing!

To Make
I got the idea for this watermelon feta salad when my husband was watching Chef Terranova on his cooking segment, Cooking With Class, on Turn To Ten one morning and called me over to watch. Well, we tried it, really liked it, and it was fun to make. I guess I'm in the mood for stacking our meals lately!

Start with chopping or crumbling feta cheese. I used a block of feta in liquid because I think it's more moist than pre-crumbled feta. But either would be fine.

Then make the "salad" with the greens. Gently tear or chop fresh basil and celery leaves. Add olive oil or truffle oil and pepper to taste. I tried the truffle oil, but since it's expensive and I really didn't think it added a unique flavor, a good olive oil would work fine.

Slice watermelon into 1/2 inch thick slices. Cut each slice into disks with a 3 inch cookie cutter or a glass with the same diameter like I did. The watermelon stuck a little but easily popped out with the help of a knife. Cut the rest into chucks for a nice snack later.

Start plating with a watermelon disk, then feta, then another watermelon disk. Top with greens and a last sprinkle of crumbled feta, which we used in place of salt, pepper to taste.

So fun and so pretty!

The kids liked it. 

We had a lot of laughs.

The dogs found a cool spot by the river.

Then we went to a play.

* * *

Watermelon And Feta Salad Recipe
adapted from Chef Frank Terranova, as seen on Cooking With Class, Turn To Ten (recipe can be printed from this link)

1 small seedless cold watermelon
1 pound good quality feta cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn
1/4-1/2 cup celery leaves, chopped or torn (his recipe calls for 1/2 cup but I didn't have that much from my bunch of celery so I used about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup good quality olive oil/extra virgin olive oil or white truffle oil
Pepper to taste
Olive oil to drizzle over dish
Salt to taste (optional, not necessary if using feta to top off)

Feta: crumble up by either coarsely chopping or breaking up into small pieces with your hands. Set aside.

Greens: gently chop or tear basil and celery leaves. In a small bowl, mix with olive oil or truffle oil, pepper to taste.

Watermelon: Do this last since it starts to warm up and look funky if cut up first. Slice watermelon into about 1/2 inch slices. Use a large cookie cutter, or other circular item, to cut sliced watermelon into disks.

Plate: lay a watermelon disk on each dish, top each with a layer of feta cheese, another watermelon disk, then greens. I topped with a sprinkle of feta instead salt. And if you want, drizzle a little olive oil around the plate for a final touch.

Serve immediately.


  1. I have wanted to try this combination for some time now and STILL have not...very disappointing. I love the combination of feta and fruit. It is fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is so beautiful and I love your green plates. Not sure I could get my kids to eat watermelon with anything other than watermelon, though!

  3. Hi Linda,
    The plate surely is a classic bite of summer burst!
    Love the presentation, somewhat chinese, maybe the lovely plate as the canvas affecting.
    I could almost think about having grilled prawns with this tho ;D

  4. What a great salad. Perfect for summer. Love it.

  5. Thank you all for stopping by and for your compliments! Raven, hope you try the combo before summer ends! Christy, watermelon with watermelon is a good thing! I didn't think my kids would fall for this - my son was surprised as you saw from his outburst! It's an unusual combo for kids to see. Hi Pierre, I think you're right - grilled prawns would make a really nice complete meal! Thanks so much Christine.

  6. This looks so good and refreshing, Lin! But I think one serving won't be enough for me. LOL.

  7. Thanks Tina, it was a refreshing treat, especially that day. And believe me, if we hadn't had a late lunch, I would have eaten more than one!

  8. This sounds just delicious! I agree with you - block Feta is SO much better! Once I discovered the difference, I never looked back. What a delightful summer meal!

  9. Linda, this salad looks like fun to make and lovely to look at too:D My Quay Lo told me that we should eat more water melon because the juice is packed with anti-oxidants and a great source of Vit C. I will definitely make this the next time I invite our friends over for dinner. This makes a really pretty appetizer.

  10. Stacking the watermelon is such a great idea! I saw a picture of watermelon slices subbing for cake layers, but I like this salad better!! Nicely done! Oui, oui!!!

  11. There's something about watermelon and feta salad. Don't know if you saw mine a couple posts ago, but I adore yours! So clever, and creative!
    Love your photos, of the family and the beautiful doggies, and that gorgeous mountain view!
    I've been so out of touch for the last three days, but at least I can type now, and comment to my dear friends' blogs!

  12. More thank yous to:

    Ann, the block is the way to go!

    Quay Po, so true! Thanks for talking about all the healthy aspects of watermelon. Enjoy this with friends sometime!

    Rosemary, merci, merci! Lol, it is kind of cake-like. Didn't think about that until now!

    Elisabeth, I saw your watermelon salad, commented that I loved the combination and would like to try your version sometime - beautiful. The idea for mine came from a chef, like you. I've got some ideas now to work into the next one I make. Get better! xoxo

  13. Hi Linda! Wow, but does this watermelon salad look simple to prepare and deeeelicious to eat. Thanks for sharing the photos of your dogs. Very cute. And have I told you? Love the name of your blog. Vittles and Committals has such a great ring.

  14. Lindas fotos y muy refrescante receta ,genial la forma de cortar,abrazos cordiales.

  15. Thanks Mario! And glad to hear that about my blog name. Funny, I was just talking about the name with a friend. She loves the name too so it's here to stay. It has meaning, which someday I hope to explain in a page post.

    Thank you Rosita and for liking the way it's cut! I was impressed with the way the chef cut the watermelon so I thought I should keep it the same. My kids enjoyed the presentation!

  16. I know exactly what you mean by kids saying stuff out of the blue:)) like my youngest one started a week ago saying if he want something "it is my destiny mom" LOL!
    You salad is unique, I would never thought paring watermelon with feta..Love the photos, now you got me thinking about the taste, as I have both in fridge, I might have a midnight adventure!:)))

  17. Love this!! I tagged you in the 7 Links game - check out The Orange Bee for instructions. Miss you too.

  18. Hi Sandra! LOL, love that response! Hope you whipped up something creative to snack on last night.

    Thanks for thinking of me Linda! I can't wait to see what you posted. I'll talk to you soon!