Well I made it through week 1 of my Summer Salad Series! It was a joy to try so many new recipes and to have so many meal options that didn’t require turning on the oven–perfect for our hot and humid summer. But all those options turned into way too much food kicking around, and with my overflowing fridge, I decided I had to change things up a little for week two.
But before we get talking about week 2 (coming tomorrow!), let’s talk about the sexiest salad of week 1: Melon, Berry and Feta salad (Food and Wine magazine)
This salad has been sexy since way before I met her. And I know, she’s not completely ground breaking. This time of year lots of watermelon and feta recipes start creeping out of the woodwork. But something about this gal in particular caught my eye. I think it was how beautiful and exotic she looked when I first saw her in Food and Wine magazine. Something about blackberries just does it for me. Closet food fetishes aside, I thought this would be a great addition to my month of salad, since it’s not a traditional lettuce-based salad and I’ve never tried anything like it before, so why not?
I wasn’t even sure exactly when melons are at their peak in store, but I lucked out. The recipe calls for your favourite two types of melon. I am a real fan of cantaloupe and am only ‘meh’ about honeydew melon, but thought the two together would work nicely. A packet of blackberries and fresh mint from my window ledge garden, and we were ready to go.
As sexy and sophisticated as this lovely lady looks, this is really just a simple salad with a citrus vinaigrette, tipped over the edge with the addition of hot red chillies. It adds just enough heat to keep things interesting.
The cantaloupe was syrupy sweet and juicy, the honeydew firmer with a more mellow flavour that I preferred with the salty feta. The tropical melon was whipped deftly in to shape by the lemony vinaigrette, but the water content of the fruit prevented the citrus from overwhelming the dish. It was a mixture of flavours that surprised my taste buds. In a good way! Oh and I can’t forget to mention those blackberries. They were just sweet enough not to offend as they sometimes can when they are not quite ripe. Their colour and texture were an integral part of the mix.
I made this recipe on a 35C day and it was just the thing–cool and refreshing yet perky–and filling enough with the cheese to serve as the perfect hot weather lunch. This would also work nicely as a light mid-course or starter/dessert. Melon cleanses the palate and is a great finish to a meal.
What foods do you like to eat when the mercury rises to epic levels?
Melon, Berry and Feta Salad
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon minced preserved lemon peel or lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 green melon (about 1 1/4 pounds)—halved, cut into wedges, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 orange or yellow melon (about 1 1/4 pounds)—halved, cut into wedges, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 cup blackberries
- 2 ounces feta cheese, cut into thin slices
- 2 tablespoons snipped chives or mint
- In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, preserved lemon and crushed red pepper and season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the melon slices and blackberries on a platter. Drizzle the dressing over the fruit. Garnish the salad with the feta and snipped chives and serve.
Printable Recipe from Food And Wine magazine