Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Watermelon, Arugula and Feta Salad

Everyone knows this time of year calls for several, hotdogs, burgers and WATERMELON!  Sitting in the backyard during family picnics seeing who could spit watermelon seeds the farthest was common practice for me circa 1992. My grandfather, Pa, was the king though....he would quietly sit back in one of those old metal lawn chairs, curl his tongue and launch.  It was incredible.  As a child I could have sworn he shot that seed 100 feet.  Now looking back on it I would guess it wasn't quite that far but as the grown-ups of our childhood remain, he was legendary!

I have long since loved most any fruit but my favorite among them all is certainly the watermelon....maybe it is because of the nostalgia I feel when the weather warms up and huge crates of bright green watermelons line the grocery stores and produce tents.  Maybe it is because there is simply nothing as deliciously hydrating in the summer that a ripe melon or maybe it is just that I think the green and red look good together...who knows!  All I know is I will take a watermelon any way I can get it!

A few years back I had a watermelon salad which had feta and mint on it and I was hooked!  It became my staple I would take to summer picnics!  For Sunday dinner this past week my Dad came across a variation of that recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, Two Dudes, One Pan, and we thought we should give it a try.

Watermelon, Arugula and Feta Salad
3 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
3/4 cup crumbled feta (about 4 oz.)
8 fresh mint leaves, stacked and roughly chopped
juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups arugula

Place the watermelon, all but 2 tablespoons feta, the mint, basil, lemon juice, oils and salt in a large bowl and gently toss together.  Let the mixture stand for 1 minute, then add the arugula and toss to coat.  Transfer to a serving bowl or to individual plates, sprinkle with the reserved 2 tablespoons feta and serve.

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