Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Watermelon & Feta Salad with Preserved Lemon Dressing

Watermelon & Feta Salad 1

Happy New Year everyone.  I love this time of year.  Of course, it's summer here in New Zealand, and what's not to love about that?  But, I also love that sense of new beginnings that accompany the season, and I can tell you, after the year that was last year, a new beginning is definitely called for.

I love too the profusion of summer produce, and can't get enough of fresh salads and light and healthy vegetable dishes right now.  This watermelon and feta salad, with its tangy preserved lemon dressing is one of my favourite salads, and one which I make many times over summer.  Its freshness and lightness is the perfect antidote after a couple of weeks of Christmas excesses, and it makes a great accompaniment for summer barbeques - though I'm happy to eat it as a meal on its own.

You don’t have to be fussy about quantities for this.  Just use a nice, large flat platter and just make as much as you need to satisfy however many mouths you are trying to feed.  Feel like ringing the changes - try using green olives instead of black (as I have done in these photos), or maybe a mixture of both;  chunks of avocado or toasted pine nuts make a nice addition;  some roasted shrimp are another nice addition if you want to make this into something a little more substantial.

Watermelon & Feta Salad 2

Watermelon & Feta Salad with Preserved Lemon Dressing Recipe
A rough guide for 4 people would be
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

watermelon (probably half a medium-sized melon)
2x lemons
block of feta
couple of handfuls of black olives (I like Kalamata olives)
1/2 preserved lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
drizzle of honey
salt & pepper

Heat a chargrill pan over very high heat.  Cut one lemon in half, and when pan is hot place lemon cut side down in the pan.  Cook until the cut surface of the lemon has taken on caramelised grill marks and the juice is beginning to flow.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Remove rind from watermelon and cut into large chunks - please yourself whether you choose to flick out the seeds or not.  Arrange watermelon chunks over large flat platter.

Sprinkle black olives evenly over the watermelon.

Now grate the zest of half of the remaining lemon and reserve.

Next prepare the dressing.  Place preserved lemon, olive oil, juice of the remaining lemon and a small drizzle of honey into a small blender and blitz until smooth and creamy.  Taste and season as necessary - note you may not need to add salt as the preserved lemon will be salty, but you may want to add some pepper and you may want to adjust the sweetness.

Place the feta in one large slab on top of the watermelon.  Drizzle the whole thing with the preserved lemon dressing, and sprinkle lemon zest over the top.  Serve with the chargrilled lemon halves on the side.

Fantastic served with a glass of chilled ouzo!

I'm sharing this post at Gallery of Favourites, hosted by my friend April at The 21st Century Housewife;  at See Ya In the Gumbo, hosted by the lovely Michelle at Ms. enPlace;  at Foodie Friday, hosted by Designs by Gollum; and at My Meatless Mondays hosted by Chaya at My Sweet and Savory

Gallery of Favourites Badge          See Ya in The Gumbo Badge          Foodie Friday Badge

31 comments:

  1. I've had watermelon & feta several times but that dressing really does elevate it to something else! Lovely.

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    1. I made this salad many times, before I sussed out this dressing, and that is the thing that really does make it something special.

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  2. Brilliant! I love preserved lemons (I keep a large jar of them made most of the year), and playing back & forth with the sweet and salty of each of the components just makes my tastebuds dance for joy... even at 6:30 in the morning!

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    1. Thanks, Toby. I love preserved lemons too - I love that combination of sweetness and intense saltiness they develop, and the way that echoes the combination of sweet watermelon and salty feta in this salad.

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  3. I'm trying to imagine having New Year's in the summer - or Christmas!

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    1. Seems all at odds when you live on the other side of the world. For us it's hard to imagine having New Year without going to the beach every day :-)

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  4. Que buena con ese cítrico asi.
    Un saludito

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  5. Happy New Year Sue, and what a fantastic salad!

    Ciao
    Alessandra

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    1. Thanks, Alessandra, and happy new year to you too xo

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  6. The flavour combination sounds amazing. Can't wait to try it.

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    1. Thanks, Lyn. Hope you enjoy it, and thanks for visiting.

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  7. Happy New Year Sue! Love this salad, so bright & fresh & perfect for the hot sunny weather we've been getting here in Auckland! I reckon a little feta & mint wouldn't go a miss too :)

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    1. Thanks, Mairi, happy new year to you too. Pleased you're getting some good weather up there - seems to have finally settled here too, in fact I'm off to the beach now!

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  8. I love this combination - anything with feta in it is a winner in my book. We've been having a similar kind of thing that I saw in the latest Cuisine - sliced stonefruit and tomatoes with feta and a tangy dressing made with sumac. Yum! Happy New Year to you x

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    1. Thanks, Lucy. I love anything with feta in it too, and I love the sound of that salad with the sumac dressing - I totally need to try that. Happy New Year to you too xo

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  9. I must live a sheltered life, as I've never had watermelon with feta. You make it look delicious though, it sounds so refreshing. Definitely going to have to try it this summer.

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    1. Thanks, Linno - yes, it's very refreshing and delicious. I hope you enjoy it.

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  10. Your salad looks wonderful! I've pinned it to my salad board. Thanks for sharing it with the Gallery of Favorites.

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    1. Thanks, Alea and thanks for hosting. I enjoy participating at Gallery of Favourites, and just this week realised that I hadn't done so for a few weeks. Thanks for pinning my salad - and thanks for the reminder that Pinterest is something I still haven't managed to get my head around. Perhaps I should add that to my "must-do" list this year :-)

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  11. Love the dressing! Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. Thanks, Aunt B. The dressing is fabulous, and I seem to be just mad for it at the moment.

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  12. I'll have to give this a try,I love watermelon and feta is my favorite cheese, so it's got to be a winner.
    I'm having my first link party Tuesday at memoriesbythemile.com would love for you to stop by.
    New Follower,
    Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile

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  13. So pretty! Is this Alli's preserved lemon?

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. Today was such a yuck day. Rainy. Cold. Good for making me cranky. I wish I had this bright, happy dish in front of me to erase all of that. LOVING the grilled lemon. Most definitely!
    Thanks for sharing!

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  16. Sue, Melon and Feta together is one of my all time favourite lunches, I never thought to add a dressing, but I'm sure gonna give it a go now, thanks. Clare

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  17. What a beautiful salad, Sue! I love the contrast of flavours and textures with the watermelon, olives and feta and the light honeyed dressing sounds so good. I'm in Canada at the moment and it's pretty cold here, so I'm envying your lovely New Zealand summer...I'm headed to California tomorrow though so it should be slightly warmer there :)

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  18. This is such a fresh/fantastic idea!
    I work for a goat cheese company in central Minnesota and we are in the process of updating our website. Would you be willing to let us use your recipe/photos? With credit, of course.

    Let me know what you think!

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