Watermelon, Feta, Basil & Sumac

Watermelon, Feta, Basil & Sumac

When Anthea was living with friends of mine in North Melbourne, we found our bond over my watermelon iPhone case. It turns out we were both watermelon aficionados, and so the friendship began. It seems only fitting to dedicate this recipe to her, as the talented photographer behind these recipes and of course, my dear friend. 

This dish is so refreshing in the warmer months. Serve it with grilled lamb marinated in za'atar, or some pan-fried prawns. You can use haloumi in place of feta if you please. I occasionally add a handful of peppery rocket leaves or some finely sliced radicchio as well. The molasses dressing is quite tart, which nicely offsets the sweetness of the watermelon. If you have dressing leftover, store in the fridge for up to 3 days and use over pan-fried kale or grilled asparagus. 

The only downside is this salad doesn't keep well, but all the more excuse to gobble it up. 

Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients

Quick Pickled Red Onions

1/2 red onion
Juice of a lemon
Salt/pepper to season

Dressing

1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
Juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt/pepper to season 

Salad

1/2 watermelon
1/2 block quality Greek feta, (I use Dodoni)
Handful basil leaves
Small handful mint leaves
1/2 tablespoon sumac

Method

Quick Pickled Red Onions

Slice the red onion thinly (you can use a mandolin for this if your knife skills aren't great). 
Place in a bowl and add the lemon juice and season. 
Let sit for 20 minutes to half an hour. You will notice the onions soften and the lemon juice will be stained pink. 
Set aside.

Dressing

Mix the lemon juice and molasses together and slowly add the olive oil. You will need a whisk as it can become quite thick. Use more olive oil if you wish to thin the dressing and season to taste. 

Salad

Chop the watermelon into cubes and place in a serving dish. 
Thinly slice the basil and mint and add to the salad. 
Crumble the feta over the watermelon, sprinkle over the sumac.
Add the pickled red onions to garnish and a drizzle of the molasses dressing. 

Serve immediately.