It seems like summer is ending. The days are getting shorter, pumpkin-flavored recipes are popping up everywhere, and I keep having to grab a scarf on the way out of the house. But I’m not ready to give in quite yet! Southern California doesn’t quite get a real winter, and our summers tend to stick around a bit longer, so I’m taking advantage! The farmers markets are still full of delicious fruits and vegetables, and my tomato plants are still popping out tomatoes. To take advantage of all the tasty produce, we’ve been making a lot of salads lately, and this one of our favorites.
It’s a riff on the Stacked Watermelon with Feta and White Balsamic recipe from the delightful Sprouted Kitchen cookbook. Since the summer heirloom tomatoes are so tasty, I’ve thrown them into the mix as well. With the addition of the tomatoes and a nice crusty chunk of bread, this makes for a great lunch.
If you don’t have white balsamic vinegar, you can use the regular balsamic, but I can’t recommend white balsamic vinegar enough. It’s a bit milder than regular balsamic and it’s a great addition to any salad.
- 1 small watermelon, chilled
- 2 heirloom tomatoes
- ½ cup feta cheese
- ⅓ cup white balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- 4 cups baby arugula
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- ¼ red onion, very thinly sliced
- Cut the watermelon into ½ inch rounds. Cut them into whatever shape and size you'd like for the salad. If you're serving this on a platter, you can cut them into rounds about the same size as the tomatoes. If you're creating individual servings, smaller pieces work well too.
- In a bowl, combine the feta, vinegar, olive oil, and a few grinds of pepper and mix it all together. Gently mash the whole thing together with the back of a fork to create a bit of a chunky dressing. Don't mix too much, you don't want a paste.
- Put the arugula, basil, and red onion in a bowl and toss with a few spoonfuls of the dressing.
- Place a handful of the arugula mix on a plate and top with watermelon and tomatoes. Drizzle a little extra dressing on the top and finish off with fresh pepper and any extra feta you can't stand putting back in the fridge.
As long as these farmers markets keep delivering such tasty veggies – I’m going to keep pretending it’s still summer. The heavy meals and pumpkin flavors can wait a little longer!