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Watermelon and Feta Salad with Thai Basil

A few years ago I tasted an appetizer of watermelon with salty cheese and peppery arugula. The chef had cut 2-inch cubes of watermelon and scooped a 1-inch deep hole out of the top. He filled the hole with vinaigrette-dressed baby arugula and sprinkled goat cheese on top. Memory of that clever unusual appetizer inspires this watermelon and feta salad with Thai basil.

Watermelon and Feta Salad with Thai Basil

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Recently I saw a recipe for watermelon and feta salad with jalapeño slivers and marjoram leaves. Mint is the usual herb in watermelon salads, whether sweet or savory. Remembering that marjoram and basil are part of the mint family, why not Thai basil instead, particularly because it came in our CSA farm share box this week! Thai basil has a stronger anise note than the more familiar Italian sweet basil.

Thai basil for watermelon and feta salad with Thai basil

My family ate their watermelon straight—no salt. As a teenager I learned that some families sprinkle salt and even pepper on watermelon and even on their tomatoes! And now it’s quite normal to find watermelon with salty feta cheese and fresh herbs.

Watermelon and Feta Salad with Thai Basil

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5 from 1 vote
Watermelon and Feta Salad with Thai Basil
Watermelon and Feta Salad with Thai Basil
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keyword: watermelon, feta cheese, Thai basil, salad
Servings: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup crumbled good quality feta cheese
  • ½ cup Thai basil finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion sweet onion or shallot
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Arugula leaves stems removed or Ranui Gardens salad greens
Instructions
  1. Put the watermelon, feta cheese and ribbons of the Thai basil in a bowl. Make a vinaigrette dressing by whisking the orange juice, rice wine vinegar, olive oil, onion, salt and pepper together. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Chill.

  2. To serve, make a bed of arugula or lettuce on individual plates and mound about 1 cup of the watermelon salad in the center. Grind black pepper over the top.

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