Hot weather food: watermelon salad & merguez-hummus

Still too hot to cook, or eat anything too heavy or complicated; fruits and veggies with lots of water are very appealing right now.  A few years ago, Nigella Lawson popularized watermelon-feta salad to the point of ubiquity; you could hardly go to a barbecue or potluck without the dish making an appearance.  Now that the novelty has worn off, it’s worth revisiting the savory-sweet-pungent salad as a satisfying hot-weather option.

For the life of me, I can’t remember the ingredients or proportions of the original recipe (though I found it here on Nigella’s website).  Since the salad is so simple, it is best to use only the freshest watermelon and full-fat, mild feta cheese.  My personal version, based on the ingredients I keep on hand or grow in the backyard, goes like this:

Watermelon Feta Salad, after Nigella Lawson

  • 3 cups watermelon, de-seeded and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2-3 ounces sheep’s milk feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • as many chopped, quality black olives as you’d like (don’t bother with the tasteless, canned ones)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • a generous handful of mint, roughly chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

Place watermelon, feta, and red onion in a large bowl.  Squeeze over the lime juice and add mint.  Toss gently to combine, then add salt & pepper to taste.

So what to eat with the watermelon-feta salad?  How about a meaty hummus?  Start with a base of (homemade or storebought) hummus, spread on a plate.  Buy a few merguez sausages (available locally at Whole Foods and Cochon Butcher), remove them from their casings, and cook in a skillet, breaking up the sasusage as it browns.  Toss in a handful of pine nuts to toast lightly.  When the sausage is cooked through, spread the merguez over the hummus.  Serve warm, with lots of pita.

More hot-weather cooking & eating to come….

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3 thoughts on “Hot weather food: watermelon salad & merguez-hummus

  1. Finally went to Spahrs – wasn’t impressed. Politz’s is 10,000 times better. Service was friendly but the softshell crab doesn’t hold a candle to the one at Politz’s.

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