In the midst of an unspeakably hot August, the last thing you want is a meal that will leave you sluggish and full. My family decided to grill this evening and I was in charge of a side that would beat the heat but still pack a punch in terms of flavor.
With a juicy watermelon in the fridge and some fresh basil on the sunny windowsill, I decided on a refreshing watermelon salad with basil and feta.
Fresh, cool, watermelon pairs perfectly with grassy basil, salty feta, and a tangy lemon vinaigrette. See?? Doesn’t it just look like summer?!
So, you’ll need some watermelon, feta, basil, olive oil, lemon, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Simple enough right?
I found this gorgeous and sweet watermelon at a farmers market on the way to the beach, but any organic melon will do! Cut in slices, and then cut those slices into bite sized chunks.
Now, cube your feta, or buy the crumbled version (I prefer the brick of it) and tear your basil into bite sized pieces.
Seriously this is the most difficult piece. Yes, the recipe is that easy!
Tumble all together into a big bowl and start on the dressing!
Drizzle your olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, honey, and vinegar into a container, and shake shake shake! until it emulsifies.
Pour your creamy lemon dressing over the salad and toss (gently!) to coat. Let sit in the fridge for a few minutes before serving; it gets even better after all the flavors have had a chance to marinate.
I had grilled some meaty Portobello’s, and the lemon vinaigrette was perfect drizzled over the top.
We paired the watermelon with my absolute favorite summer pasta dish I told you guys about before, and managed to get 10 people around the dinner table for a true family meal.
The girls toasted with their burgers, and we enjoyed ribs, pasta, burgers, garlic bread, grilled veggies, and of course watermelon salad. A proper barbecue if I’ve ever seen one!
This is the most perfect side for the summer; the fruit is at it’s peak, the basil is so aromatic, and the lemon dressing picks you up even in the most humid of places. Not to mention it takes at most 10 minutes.
I can promise it’s now a staple at my table, and I’m sure it will become one at yours!
Watermelon Salad with Basil and Feta (Serves 6 as a side)
- 1/4 of a watermelon
- 8 oz block of feta
- Handful of fresh basil
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 T red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 T honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cube your melon and feta, and tear your basil into bite sized pieces.
- Shake together your lemon juice and zest, vinegar, honey, oil, salt, and pepper.
- Pour dressing over melon, feta, and basil.