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watermelon, feta, pumpkin seed salad

Tuesday, 11 Aug 2009
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This past Saturday I was back at the greenmarket and came across some very cute and small watermelons.  One of the guys working the stand came up and asked if I knew how to choose a good one. Of course, I said, one that feels heavy for its size. No, he said, hold the watermelon by the stem (yes, these were tiny enough that you could dangle one between two fingers) and flick it. You are looking for a deep THUUD.  THUUD.  THUU-UUD.The sound definitely doesn't correlate to the watery lightness of the fruit, but he was right, when I got home I cut open a gloriously juicy surprise.  Surprise? Indeed, this watermelon was baby pink in color-- I'd never seen that before.  At first I feared I'd gotten a dud with the thuud, but no, this little surprise had a sweet delicate flavor to match its delicate tone.  

Though I was tempted to just cool the watermelon chunks and eat them as nature intended, I really wanted a nice salad for brunch and figured we could make some kind of anti-oxidant power salad.  Watermelons are super rich in antioxidants, primarily Vitamin C, and are also a good source of Vitamins A & B.  ABC, 1-2-3-, baby, you and me!  I decided to pair it up with some salty feta from a great Lebanese store in Brooklyn, omega-3 and mineral rich dark green pumpkin seeds and lots of mint.  It was delicious and incredibly refreshing on a summer day so hot that simply walking to the corner sapped me of all energy.

watermelon, feta, pumpkin seed salad

1 small watermelon (or of course, pieces of a massive one would work too. you want about 4 cups diced)
225 g (~8 oz) salty fresh feta
3/4 c dark pumpkin seeds (you could also use pepitas)
1 lemon
1/2 c mint (torn into small pieces)
good olive oil
salt
black pepper

Place the pumpkin seeds in a skillet with a dash of olive oil on medium-low heat.  Swirl them around until they are toasted, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn them!  Remove from heat and let cool. You could also do this in the oven.

Meanwhile, peel and dice the watermelon. Remove the seeds if your watermelon has them and you have the energy. Break the feta into small pieces, about the same size as your watermelon dice.  

Once the pumpkin seeds are cool and you are ready to serve the salad, mix the watermelon, feta and seeds in a large bowl.  Spray with the juice of 1 lemon.  Season with a bit of really good olive oil, some flaky sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper.  Sprinkle with mint. Toss and serve immediately.

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Hungry Burro - watermelon, feta, pumpkin seed salad

Comments (5)

Brion | 11 Aug 2009 - 21:57

I eat watermelon almost every day in the summer. I am so glad it is as good for me as it is delicious! This salad is making my mouth water.

Rita | 13 Aug 2009 - 03:54

I loooove watermelon! Sounds yummy, i'm trying it tomorrow. xx

Caonabo | 16 Aug 2009 - 19:35

I think I'll try this recipe ASAP, here in Barbados we don't get many ingredients (my weekend experience scouting the whole island in search of lemon, mushrooms, spring onions and peppers that were not rotten would make a good entry into any blog) but watermelon we do get. Will let you know how it turns out.

pao | 16 Aug 2009 - 20:26

if only miguel de la quadra knew of our love of watermelon, maybe we would have had better food during ruta quetzal. hope you guys enjoy it!

Nik | 09 Sep 2009 - 20:59

i had this on a cruise and have been craving it eveer since!! thanks for the recipe!

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