This is one of the great no-recipe recipes. It’s been around for eons, and countries all around the Mediterranean love it and claim it as theirs. Given that feta is the usual cheese of choice, however, Greece would seem to have a fair share of the bragging rights.
I first had the combination in Egypt – for breakfast – on a boat cruising the Nile (it feels so world-savvy to type that!). So wherever the combination started, it’s certainly gotten around the Mediterranean and world, and by now it’s made it to every meal of the day as well as snack time. It’s a wonderful warm-weather dish providing fresh fruit, protein, and hydration, no cooking required.
At its simplest, the dish consists of pieces of watermelon topped with crumbled feta cheese. In that sense, it’s a no-recipe recipe. Two ingredients and you’re done, too. You can make it even better by making sure to use a dead-ripe watermelon and a salty feta that isn’t sour. For the best, freshest taste, always crumble your own feta rather than buying it pre-crumbled.
Over the years, perhaps over the centuries, lots of variations of this simple, tasty dish have come about. Below are just some of them. Look them over and give a few of them a try; mix-and-match as ideas appeal to you. Eventually, you’ll find your favorite or maybe even create a new one to share.
- Add chopped cucumber
- Add chopped mint
- Add chopped basil
- Add chopped mint and chopped basil
- Add slivers of sliced red onion
- Add slivers of sliced pickled red onion (let sit in rice vinegar for one-half hour to quick pickle)
- Add kalamata olives
- Add a bit arugula
- Use a lot of arugula and salad dressing and put the watermelon and feta on top
- Drizzle with a bit of olive oil-and-vinegar salad dressing
- Drizzle with a bit of olive oil-and-lime salad dressing
- Drizzle with a bit of olive oil-and-balsamic-vinegar salad dressing
- Switch out the cheese; try crumbled halloumi (really good!) or crumbled goat cheese
Recipe tested by Ellen Ficklen; email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org