Watermelon and feta salad has become something of a summer icon. The salty feta provides a nice flavour contrast to the sweet melon, while fresh mint adds a layer of depth and sophistication. I also enjoy a bit of red onion in mine, for an extra bit of aggressive pungency, Scott Conant be damned.
Photo by Claire Lower
Beyond melon though, this template of fruit + cheese + herb works quite well for a whole bunch of fruit. (There are a few exceptions such as citrus and, as my lovely editor Alice pointed out, banana.) We'll get to the method in moment, but here are some of my favourite flavour combos:
- Strawberries + feta + mint
- Apples + blue cheese + (crispy, if you dare) sage
- Watermelon + ricotta salata + coriander
- Figs + goat cheese + thyme
- Peaches + burrata + basil
I rarely measure, but a rough ratio of 1 cup chopped fruit to 1/4 cup crumbled cheese seems to work quite well. The amount of herb you use will vary from herb to herb, so start with small amount -- a teaspoon chopped or two -- and increase to suit your taste.
To assemble the salad, add your fruit and most of the cheese and freshly chopped herbs to a bowl, reserving a bit of both for topping. Add in any other ingredients you thing would work well -- such as thinly sliced onion -- and drizzle with your favourite vinaigrette. (You can learn how to make a bangin' one here.)
Toss everything together and let it chill in the fridge for a few minutes, top with the remaining cheese and herb and serve.
If you're working with a cheese that doesn't crumble, don't fret, just arrange your fruit and cheese components artfully in a bowl, drizzle on your dressing, and top with your herb. Oh, and don't forget a grind or two of fresh pepper. Fresh pepper is a must.