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!
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.
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.