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Spicy Watermelon and Feta Salad

spicy watermelon and feta salad

Take a chubby, unspectacular half cucumber that's pining away in your produce drawer.  Peel and seed it, cut it into chunks. Find a few triangles of cold watermelon in there, too, and cut those into chunks. Go out in your garden and pick leaves of mint and basil.  Pull off the 3 Sungold tomatoes that are ripe, and harvest your very first Thai chile.  You don't know if they're meant to be picked when they're lime green (like now) or if you should wait until they become red (will they?), but pick it anyway. Come back into the kitchen, and add the whole herb leaves, halved tomatoes and very thinly sliced and seeded chile to your salad.  Put in a few chunks of firm feta. Gently toss.  Squeeze a lime wedge over the whole thing, drizzle a little bit of olive oil purchased with the PFI gift certificate that your dear friend Sue gave you, and finish with flaky sea salt.

If you are unable to recreate this salad at exactly this moment, I am sad for you.  Eating alone at my kitchen table today, I actually said aloud, "This is the best thing I have ever eaten."  By now, you know to take whatever I say with a grain of (kosher) salt because I'm a little bit prone to exaggeration.  But I'm sure you've had those serendipitous food moments when what was around (or put in front of you) was exactly what your taste buds wanted.  This was one of those, and I started writing this entry the second I put my fork down. How I love having an audience!  Thank you for indulging me again.  I hope you are staying cool today.

Reader Comments (16)

I love this kind of salad. I don't usually like my salty and sweet to mix but it just tastes so good like this!

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDana

Sarah, you are so insane in that, like, totally awesome kind of way.
Spicy watermelon and Feta Salad? Go on with your bad self!
I'm so happy you don't have to celebrate such triumphs alone anymore...

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Momosis

NO! Are you kidding me? I was just eating some cold watermelon and thought, "I wonder if Sarah has a kick ass recipe for a watermelon salad?" YOU DO!!!! This is a must try! Thank you for posting on fb or else I probably wouldn't have seen this until tomorrow!

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermidori

my mouth is actually watering. wow.

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjordan

You catered my graduation party in June and the food was incredible. I have been dreaming about the good there ever since. Now I can't get enough of your website. I love salty watermelon and can't wait to try this recipe.
Do you take requests? You once wrote that beans and rice are a good stand by for your family and since I'm hoping that my husband will quit his job and we'll live off my measly salary, we're going to need to learn to eat a lot of beans and rice cooked in a variety of ways. Can you help?

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristine van Belle

HA! I get to eat this tonight at your house! I am commenting from your computer while you make this! Can't wait to try it! I am sure it will refresh us all!

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Cox

I'm prone to exaggeration too, but that looks like a MARVELOUS salad! Too bad I eat my watermelon so quickly I never have any around to put in salad or make granita with, like I keep planning.

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCate

Sarah , you are so great at creating the moment of looking in the fridge, seeing what is hoping to be found, going to your garden, making new discoveries and harvesting the beginning and continuing bounty, and putting it all together. I love it!!! We have been eating up your hummus like it is the last food on earth.....THANK YOU :)...I also just picked up your Twitter fan Michael Pollan's book IN DEFENSE OF FOOD>>>after 12 pages I am hooked!! I'm taking it with me to Rivers and can hardly wait. Sad to say I'll be away from INPRAISEOFLEFTOVERS.COM for awhile :( I will look forward to your new entries about your vacation time , too! xoxo

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphyllis

wow! What amazing flavors in this salad! Refreshing, yet with a shot of spiciness, yet juicy, AND tangy...oh my...perfection!

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSophia

"By now, you know to take whatever I say with a grain of (kosher) salt because I’m a little bit prone to exaggeration." This is my favorite line, mainly the part about grain of kosher salt part.

July 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkamille scellick

This was delicious! Perfect little chili from your garden. Loved hanging out with you last night and watching all the cousins run around. Thank you for dinner!

July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Cox

Sarah....how about hosting a Julie & Julia "no fear" appetizer movie night for your following? It would be fun to get your readers together....just an idea.

July 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjackie

this post is one of the million reasons i love you.

July 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbethany

Sarah, I just have to tell you this salad mirrors the absolutely most amazing salad I've ever eaten in my life. I went to Art & Soul in DC a few weeks ago (head chef is on the Food Network ... his name is Art Smith or something) and ordered an arugula salad with pickeled watermelon and goat cheese crumbles with a vinegarette dressing and it about changed my world. It was the most perfect combo of savory and tangy with a hint of spice! So all that to say your at-home ingenuity rivals a top rated chef who is renowned for his creativity and delicious food.

August 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMiyuki

Wow, Miyuki! I'm jealous of your trip :) Sounds like there are a lot of cooks out there trying to figure out what to do with the big watermelons in the fridge. Nice to see you at Rita's party the other night.

August 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersarahmk

We traveled up to Cambria last weekend and were very pleasantly surprised to enjoy a similar salad. Can't wait to try and make it tonight!

August 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJodi Low

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