Watermelon doesn’t have to be boring. Or sticky. Or even involve seeds. In this recipe, watermelon provides a cool, refreshing base that lets the Mediterranean flavors of fresh mint (or basil), feta and pine nuts shine.
Do you know about ricotta salata? It’s not plain ricotta, but is aged and has a firmer texture.Ricotta salata can be difficult to find, especially if you’re in a town without a specialty grocery store. Greek feta makes a perfect substitute.
- ½ medium seedless watermelon (about 7 pounds), cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 5 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon cracked dried chiles
- 6 ounces Greek feta, crumbled, or ricotta salata
- ½ cup coarsely chopped mint or basil
- fleur de sel or fine sea salt
- After cutting watermelon into cubes, sprinkle with the dried chiles and refrigerate
- In a small skillet, melt the butter over low heat. Add the pine nuts and toast until golden, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- To assemble, lightly toss the pine nuts, chiles and cheese into the watermelon and season with salt. Add a few whole leaves of the mint or basil on top for decoration.
- Note: This salad is most delicious when served cold, straight from the fridge or an ice chest.