I bought a massive watermelon 2 days ago, so big and heavy I could almost not pick it up. It was on special, so I just crossed my fingers hoping that the texture and taste would be as impressive as the size. To my delight, it was perfect.
I’ve been a huge fan of watermelon in summertime since I was a kid. My father would cut us huge wheels and we would sit at our campsite in Keurboomstrand’s Arch Rock Caravan Park each with our own sharp knife to cut tailored bites and remove the pips. I am totally happy to eat my watermelon on it’s own, but sometimes a watermelon this big in a household as small as mine calls for some creative culinary adventures.
It was time to do my take on the very popular watermelon and feta salad. I decided to cut thin, round little wheels out of the core of the watermelon, which left me with pieces that resembled carpacchio! I added my favourite gorgonzola instead of feta, as well as chopped almonds and thin slithers of cucumber (I used a veggie peeler). To top it off, I chopped a handful of basil leaves, and bashed it up with my mortar & pestle, adding about 2 tablespoons of Felippo Berio olive oil and a pinch of flaked salt. Voilà! A dish so beautiful I could hang it on my wall. It has a fantastic balance between sweet & salty, juicy and creamy, fresh and intense – perfect as a starter to a boozy extended lunch with good friends in the Winelands. Serve with chilled chenin blanc or dry rosé.
(Please use as much or as little of each as you like, this is just a guideline. Cut your own shapes and play with your food!)
thinly sliced watermelon
crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese
thinly sliced cucumber (I peel strips with my veggie peeler)
a handful of basil leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of coarse salt or flaked salt