Thursday, April 1, 2010

Housewarming Watermelon, Fetta and Olive Salad

I remember the first time I made this salad years ago for a housewarming party.  It was so good that some of the guests (no names) ended up slurping the juice out of the platter that the salad was served in (no manners!).

I'd spent ages trying to find recipes to serve at my party, and this watermelon and feta salad was from Nigella Lawson, as seen in the April 2002 issue of delicious magazine (yes, that's how long ago was).  I think this dish was one of the highlights food-wise, along with some rice paper rolls that I bought from the restaurant up the road...

Anyway, I was at the grocer last weekend and saw some good-looking watermelon and this salad came to mind again.  I wasn't sure of the other ingredients, but thank goodness for mobile internet (and 3 bars of reception inside Norton St Grocer).

Watermelon, Feta and Black Olive Salad
serves 6-8

1 small red onion
juice of 2-3 limes
1.5 kg sweet, ripe watermelon
250g feta cheese
bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
bunch fresh mint, chopped
3–4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
100g pitted black olives
black pepper

1. Peel and halve the red onion and cut into very fine half-moons and put in a small bowl with the lime juice - the onions will turn a brilliant pink.
2. Remove the rind and pips from the watermelon, and cut into approximately 4cm triangular chunks.  Cut the feta into similar sized pieces and put them both into a large, wide shallow bowl. Add parsley to the bowl along with the chopped mint.
3. Pour the onions and their juice over the salad in the bowl, add the oil and olives, then using your hands toss the salad very gently so that the feta and melon don’t lose their shape. Add a good grinding of black pepper and taste to see whether the dressing needs more lime.  Serve.

Recipe adapted from delicious (April 2002)

Unfortunately, the limes were not very good, so I used bottled lime juice.  I also used Kalamata olives that were already pitted - such a timesaver.  The feta (fetta?) was a new brand I found and it was very soft, the perfect texture for this salad.

I couldn't really bring myself to use my hands to mix this salad, so gentle folding with a wooden spoon had to suffice.

This salad is a wonderful melding of sweet and salty. Very refreshing with barbequed meats, or on its own.


  1. Your posts are always such a visual treat, and this one is no different! Lovely! Can't wait to try this soon :)

  2. Delicious looking salad and delicious looking photo's! I have had this salad once before and really loved it.
    Nice touch with the rambutan!

  3. I love this salad although I have to admit I like it a bit better without the olives! Happy Easter to you and W Belle! :D

  4. I love this salad. You HAVE to try it with lamb and tzatziki; winning combo!

  5. Nice salad. The photos are very lovely, I want to try this with roasted lamb. And want to check what they will be as a combination! This is a winning Mediterranean twist! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  6. I've totally done the same thing; you could almost say that standing in store aisles and searching for recipes on my phone is a hobby of mine... Haha

    Anyway, I have seen a few watermelon and feta salads before, but I've never tried one. The addition of olives in this one sounds quite tasty! I think I'll have to give this a go sometime in the summer :)

  7. I would have never thought to combine watermelon and feta but it is possibly the prettiest salad I have ever seen - oh - along with the other gorgeous salads you always make Belle! You are definitely a cut above the rest in the salad department! :)

  8. This is a great looking recipe. I still find it hard to eat watermelon in a savoury dish.

  9. Ooh yuummmm, pity watermelons won't be as tasty soon... must get some now hee hee

  10. Looks so summery and delicious. The bright colours bring cheer to me in this cold weather.

  11. Better eat all the watermelons before it goes away. And I keep looking at the rambutan!

  12. I've made - and loved - a similar watermelon and feta salad, but the addition of olives is new to me. Stolen! :P (My parents love olives, so I believe this will go down a treat.)

  13. It surprises me whenever I see watermelon being used in what is essentially a savory salad (as opposed to a fruit salad).

    Love the opening image :)

  14. I've heard of watermelon and feta together but have never tried it. it definitely looks interesting!

  15. Oh wow it looks so vibrant! I would stick something green in it. ;)

  16. What a beautiful looking salad. I love the combination of flavours!

  17. hi belle when i look at your recipe i can't wiat to have summer this is so refreshing the type of food I like !! chers de PIerre à Paris !

  18. I love watermelon salad with feta and spanish onions to go with BBQ. Love your styling and photographs!

  19. Beautiful photos, and you can't really blame the unnamed individuals for slurping the juice can you? It's your fault for making such a tasty salad. I was going to suggest serving this in a hollowed out watermelon, but it's so pretty to look at through the glass I will retract this suggestion :)

  20. hi again, everyone! Thanks for continuing to leave comments even though I've been EXTREMELY slack in not responding (yet).
    Thanks for the suggestions to have the salad with lamb - it's on the list. And for you doubters or first-timers, you MUST give the sweet watermelon and fetta combo a try. It's sublime.

  21. Wonderful salad with a lovely combo of cheese. Do drop in to my blog when time permits.