watermelon, feta and arugula salad
It took two months of summer for it to finally get humid to the point where thinking about turning on a burner on my stove makes me break out in sweat and such moments are truly rare.
To add insult to injury, work has been unseasonably busy. Summer hours are supposed to be shorter and lighter, right? In my office apparently, no one got the memo and I’ve been pulling longer hours. In a way this is a welcome change – things are looking better than last year, so I shouldn’t complain. But it’s summer, and the season makes me work less and play more especially while we’re getting more daylight.
There’ve been times when I’d get home from work, knowing full well that if I didn’t cook something in ten minutes or less, I’d be making myself yet another peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And there is something about fixing my own dinner and not reaching for the take-out menu that gives comfort. I can have a horrible day at work, I could be in sour mood, but something about being in my kitchen, picking up a knife and chopping a few things gives me a sense of order in what sometimes feels like an overwhelming and disorderly world.
So faced with a dilemma of wanting to cook something and yet being absolutely ravenous, I’ve come across this gem of a salad. Okay, so you’ll have to make your balsamic reduction a little bit ahead of time so it’s nice and chilled, but you could do it days before and have it just lounging in your refrigerator for when you want to make the salad. And since watermelon is the thing to eat this time of year, this salad takes, like, five minutes to assemble, and the whole production doesn’t require the use of a stove, you now have no excuse not cooking. In the time it takes to put together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you can make this salad. Problem solved!
Watermelon, Feta & Arugula Salad
Adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2009
1 5-ounce package baby arugula
8 cups 3/4-inch cubes seedless watermelon
1 7-ounce package feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar glaze
I know – these are arduous and complex instructions. Hey, the faster you make this – the faster you will get to eat. Your kitchen doesn’t get hot, you don’t have to crank up the a/c and your electricity bill is thus lower than it otherwise would have been. Best of all, this will refresh you on that super muggy day (like today).
Arrange arugula over large platter. Scatter watermelon, then feta over. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with pepper.
The Gardener's Eden
Arugula… check. Feta… check. Watermelon? Well you know how it has been for the gardeners on the east coast. Sigh. Ah well, tomorrow I am going to the market and I will pick up some melon. This looks fantastic and a heat wave is due early next week. I agree, no stoves in hot weather. Plus my sister’s baby is due on Thursday, and something quick like this will be just right for my week.
Thank you Sassy Radish. I hope your schedule loosens up a bit. So little summer is left….
…Can a slight balsamic novice ask a question? What exactly is balsamic glaze? From the ease of the recipe, I assume it’s a basic reduction. But do you reduce it by half, less, more?
Emily, what a great question, I will make amendments tomorrow, but I totally forgot to put the instructions for the reduction! Duh! Basically, take 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar (i recommend getting slightly pricier better stuff, if you can manage it) and boiling it until it reduces by half. So to 1/4 cup. Thanks for asking!!
This totally sounds like the perfect flavor combination! I lovee “rocket salad” and of course, would eat feta on anything!
Laura [What I Like]
I just had this salad (sans arugula) at Gotham Bar and Grill the other day and am officially obsessed with it. They added tomatoes and radishes and a sharp vinaigrette…it was perfection!
I wanted to tell you that this combination – watermelon and balsamic – makes an awesome fruit ‘soup’, with strawberries. Thought you might enjoy the recipe. It’s especially delicious in this gross NYC summer.
Looks lovely. I guess I should have tried this instead of my (mis)adventure with a watermelon and limequat jam. Looked pretty but tasted nothing like it looked!
mmm, this sounds delicious and what a perfect combination of flavors!