My husband Doug makes KILLER roast potatoes and pairs them with perfectly seasoned grilled chicken, and last night as we settled in for the night, we decided that would be dinner tonight. Does anyone else decide on dinner the night before? I’m not ashamed to say I thought about it all day today. It’s that good. I volunteered to make a salad and went in search of a fresh, summery salad recipe to complement savory potatoes and slightly spicy chicken. And I had just so happened upon a delicious-looking watermelon the other day at a local fruit and vegetable market. Plus, I found the best feta ever and had some left (after nibbling on a bit). I love living in a Greek neighborhood.
So this recipe from Ina Garten* is incredibly easy and perfect for a summer day. If I wanted something nice and light for dinner, I could see myself eating just this. Or it would be perfect for a picnic. It’s so fresh, and the flavors are so crisp. I’m not a huge fan of watermelon, but I will make this again. The combination of citrus, sweet watermelon, slightly spicy shallots, bright mint, and salty feta is heavenly.
Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 (or 2 for dinner, I would say)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (I used one whole, juicy orange)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
- 1/4 cup minced shallots (1 large)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 cup good olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cups baby arugula, washed and spun dry
- 1/8th seedless watermelon, rind removed, and cut in 1-inch cubes
- 12 ounces good feta cheese, 1/2-inch diced
- 1 cup (4 ounces) whole fresh mint leaves, julienned (I tried to do this, but in the end, you won’t really notice it. You just don’t want a huge piece of mint)
Whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, shallots, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly, to form an emulsion. If not using within an hour, store the vinaigrette covered in the refrigerator.
Place the arugula, watermelon, feta, and mint in a large bowl. Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to coat the greens lightly and toss well. Taste for seasonings and serve immediately.
Try it for yourself, and let me know what you think!
*Recipe copyright 2009, Ina Garten.