When Jacques Pepin, an award-winning French chef, prepares this summer salad, he uses a melon baller to cut the watermelon into small rounds. But the watermelon also could be cut into cubes. Prepare this salad just before serving to prevent it from getting watery. Pepin contributed this recipe to the July 2009 issue of Food & Wine magazine.
Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
One 8-pound seedless watermelon, scooped into balls with a melon baller or cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (10 cups), chilled
1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled (2 cups)
1 1/4 cups pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped (optional)
1 small sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, salt, hot sauce and pepper. Add the watermelon, feta, olives and onion and gently toss. Garnish with the mint and serve. Serves 12.