For this marinated watermelon salad with feta, we infuse the watermelon for 30 minutes with a marinade of vinegar, shallots, and ginger. This savory fruity salad is a satisfying starter that, combined with creamy whipped feta, becomes a show-stopper. Middle-East spice mix and fresh herbs are the last touches to a near-perfect fruit-based dish.
Inspired by a recipe from Food and Wine Magazine.
- 2 Tablespoons Champagne vinegar
- 1 small shallot, minced
- One 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 3 Tablespoons LIA Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt (see notes)
- One 5-pound seedless watermelon, cut into 4" x 1" rectangles without the rind
- 1 Tablespoon pink peppercorns
- 1+1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Whipped Feta Dip:
- 1-pound feta cheese, preferably Greek
- 1/4 cup LIA Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/3 cup lightly packed torn basil leaves
- 1/3 cup lightly packed torn mint leaves
- 1/3 cup lightly packed chopped tarragon leaves
- Flaky sea salt like Natural Flaky Greek Sea Salt
- Whisk together the vinegar, minced shallot, grated ginger, and three tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil in a medium bowl. Season the marinade with sea salt (read the note below about the salt first). Place the watermelon in a large resealable bag or large shallow dish and pour in the marinade. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Toast the pink and black peppercorns in a small frying pan at moderately high heat until fragrant, about two minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer the peppercorn to a spice grinder and grind to a powder. Transfer the ground peppercorn mix to a small dish and combine it with the sumac and cayenne.
- Puree the feta in a food processor until smooth. While the food processor is on, drizzle in 1/4 cup of olive oil.
- Spread the whipped feta dip on a round or oval platter. Using a slotted spoon or a spatula, remove the watermelon from the marinade and arrange it on the feta.
- Drizzle with some of the marinade and generously sprinkle with the Middle-East spice mix. Garnish with the herbs and sea salt.
Salt in the marinade: Season to your taste. The suggested amount is to my taste. Remember, the feta cheese is salty and will add another layer of salt. Also, at the end, you will sprinkle on top some flaky sea salt.
- Prep Time: 20
- Category: Salad
- Method: Marinate
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keywords: Marinated Watermelon, Summer Salad, Whipped Feta, feta dip, feta mousse, Middle Eastern Spice Mix