Usually when my kids hear the word “salad” they run for the hills (a reaction I try not to get too upset about because I’m pretty sure I didn’t eat a salad until after I had my driver’s license). I’m always trying to find clever ways to slowly introduce the wonders of a tangled mess of greens, slivered carrots, sliced cucumbers, maybe a little goat cheese, and a tart vinaigrette. I even lavished praise on a 3-year old neighborhood friend who ate lettuce by the fistful when we went out for dinner one night: “Just look at him go!”.
That earned me the crooked-eye and not even a nibble.
So I’ve decided to go with another tactic—take two items they love (watermelon and cheese) and combine them for a classic salad that may just be odd enough to intrigue them. Chilled cubes of watermelon topped with crumbled feta cheese and then drizzled with a sweet-tart watermelon juice vinaigrette. How can they resist?
Who know who was the first person to think that watermelon and feta would go well together, but they do.
And this dressing is a recipe I found in a copy of Best Recipes of 2003, which originally ran in Oprah magazine.
If you want to take the salad a step further into greener territory you can also add arugula.
With or without the lettuce you can always tell any skeptical eaters that you’re having dessert for the salad course and the taste of this sweet, tangy, salty, creamy dish will do the rest.
Recipe for Watemelon Dressing and Salad
-You will need 1 cup of fresh watermelon juice which you can either get from putting about 1 1/2 cups in a blender and then straining it into a measuring cup, or: I store my watermelon in a large tupperware container with a catch on the bottom so I can just pour the juice directly without having to put in the blender.
-Take the white part only of one scallion and cut it thinly.
-Saute scallion in a saucepan with 1 tsp of olive oil over medium heat until softened.
-Pour in the 1 cup of reserved watermelon juice and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and reduce to about 3 tabespoons (about 20 minutes).
-Take vinegar mixture off of heat and cool.
-Once it’s cooled whisk in another 1/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
-Pile several cubes of chilled watermelon on a plate. Top with a crumble of feta cheese and then drizzle with dressing.