As you can see, Evan is particularly pleased with this simple watermelon dish. The baby version of watermelon salad turns into a creamy soup, which Evan found a bit strange at first. He tried to eat the soup off the spoon, and realized that was not the most convenient method of consumption. "Slurp, slurp", I said, as I fed him, making the noisiest slurping sounds that would be perfectly polite at a Japanese ramen house. "Hoo!", he giggled. The more he eats this soup, the more practice he gets at conveying liquids to his mouth with a spoon, rather than a bottle. He seems to find the result worthy of the effort.
The grownup version of this dish is a warm weather favorite. With its juicy sweetness, watermelon begs for the salty counterpoint of feta cheese. The salad is incomplete without fresh mint leaves and some grassy, peppery extra virgin olive oil. I like to top the salad with some Aleppo chili pepper flakes. The salad would pair nicely with a good chilled beer, I think, and is best consumed outside in the hot summer sun.
watermelon feta salad
Leave out the chili flakes to make the baby-friendly version of this recipe (see below). You can always add the chili flakes later.
1 small or 1/2 large watermelon
1 8 oz/226 g package feta cheese, cubed
1 bunch fresh mint
Aleppo or other chili pepper flakes
- Cut the watermelon into large bite-sized cubed and place the fruit in a large bowl.
- Add the feta cubes to the bowl. The ratio of cheese to watermelon should be a little less than one to one.
- Rip 2-3 handfuls of mint into the bowl.
- Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.
- Sprinkle the chili flakes over the top.
watermelon feta soup
- Follow the directions for preparing watermelon salad as shown above, skipping the last step.
- Remove a few chunks each of watermelon and feta cheese from the bowl, and place them in a coffee grinder.
- Add another mint leaf or two, if you like, and another drizzle of olive oil.
- Pulverize the salad in the coffee grinder. Correct seasoning with freshly ground black pepper and olive oil.
- Optionally, sprinkle in a dash of finely ground chili pepper such as cayenne or hot paprika.
- Store in a 4 oz/125 ml canning jar.