Melon, Blueberry & Feta Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette ♥

Summer fruit in a gorgeous dressing, atop greensWhat, two watermelon salads in a row, on a food blog for vegetable recipes? Well ...

First of all, there are bite-size tomatoes tucked between the melon balls and blueberries. But more than that, watermelons are big, we need help using them up, we need watermelon recipes! Plus when my dear friend Linda (for those who know her too, Linda Behrends, my food stylist/consultant friend) saw yesterday's recipe for watermelon, cucumber & feta salad, she sent along this one from her friend Linda, and I've got to say, it's a winner too. Thank you, Linda-s!

Still, my taste wasn't keen on the combination of tomatoes and watermelon -- but loved the addition of blueberries and would definitely substitute cantaloupe or honeydew for the tomatoes. Plus, the dressing is just gorgeous, tart with lime and sweet with honey, a keeper in its own right.

This was soo summery, perfect for a light supper on string of 100+ hot days. And it's definitely a "fruit salad" where yesterday's was a "vegetable salad", even though both include watermelon.

KITCHEN TIPS This salad is a perfect example of why I keep four -- yes four -- colanders close at hand. They're smallish (nine inches across, five deep), stack, go in the dishwasher top and bottom, cheap ($1 a piece from the grocery but think the Dollar Store, too) and EVER so useful. Nearly every meal, I use a couple, but am surprised, myself, how often four are going at once. Twice I've bought sets for foodie friends - and definitely recommend thinking about this for your own kitchen.

ST LOUIS NOTES The feta came from Goatsbeard Farm and was completely delicious. Goatsbeard can be found (says their brochure) at The Smokehouse, Wine & Cheese Place, Whole Foods and for me, at the wonderful mid-week farmers market in Maplewood just outside the Schlaffly Microbrewery. It's a festive time on Wednesday afternoons, 4 - 7, worth checking out! Because the feta was warm from the trip home, I learned how good feta is when it's at room temperature - worth making happen on purpose.



FROM THE ARCHIVES Have you poked around the Recipe Box for tomato recipes? Because they're so different, I even keep special spots for recipes for perfect summer tomatoes and recipes for cherry and grape tomatoes.

TWO YEARS AGO Broccoli, Pepper & Celery Salad, such a favorite that today it's on the lunch menu.

MELON, BLUEBERRY & FETA SALAD

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes
Serves 4

SALAD

Salad greens for four
Watermelon balls (about 2 cups but use your own judgment for all, of course)
Cantaloupe or honeydew balls (about 2 cups)
Blueberries (about a cup)
Cherry or grape tomatoes (if you use these, I'd recommend halfing them so the texture is more similar to the watermelon)

Wash well and let drain while making the dressing.

VINAIGRETTE (plenty of dressing for four, fruit and greens)
1/3 cup lime juice (3 limes)
2 - 3 tablespoons honey (warm in the microwave 10 seconds at a time to make easier to pour)
Tabasco to taste (don't skip this, it makes the dressing!)
Salt & pepper to taste
Good olive oil -- how much? I used 2 tablespoons, the inspiring recipe called for 4

Whisk the lime juice, honey, tabasco, salt & pepper. Now -- if you want to limit the oil -- taste the dressing, then add oil a tablespoon at a time, tasting after each addition, until it tastes good to you. I like my dressing on the 'sharp' side but not everyone does. This one's so full of flavor, for example, that it was easy to go light. That said, there's definitely something special about the 'glisten' and 'glow' of really good olive oil on the fruit and on the greens.

ASSEMBLY
2 ounces feta, crumbled, preferably at room temperature

Toss the fruit with about half the dressing (do this first so the dressing can soak into the fruit just a tiny bit). Dress the greens with the remaining dressing and arrange on a serving plate or individual plates. Top greens with fruit, then with feta. Serve immediately.



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8 comments:

I can't imagine the taste of watermelon and tomato together -- perhaps I'm too much of a purist about fruit salads, though I do love the addition of a nice sharp cheese. Will have to give this a try.

More feta! Yay! I think watermelon and tomato go together well because they are similar textures with different flavors. It's very pleasing to the palate.

I love the combination of the salty feta with the sweet melon and berries. And I have some sungold cherry tomatoes that would be perfect for this--a nice dash of yellow with the blue and red.

I have tried really hard to like watermelon and tomatoes -- I've seen the combo lots of places -- but I just can't do it. Perhaps it's a texture thing? Or maybe I'm so accustomed to thinking of tomato sweetness in a savory way. That dressing sounds absolutely delicious, though -- I bet it would be good on all sorts of things.

I just love fruit in salad, especially when paired with salty cheese and sweet and tangy dressings. I'll be posting about fruity salads too and will link to this! Have a great weekend, Alanna!

Alanna:

SO glad you asked! I was out for dinner in Vancouver BC and was so curious that I had to order this dish: halibut grilled and served over creamy risotto and topped with a watermelon salsa (more like small dice). I was a little uncertain the flavors would meld but ALAS the combo was superb! The sweet watermelon, the flaky fish and rich and creamy risotto were divine!d

Wonder if this is the way to get a little watermelon into the husband. I love it wildly he doesn't want anything to do with it. And the blueberries just seem like a natural.

Lydia ~ I'm no purist about fruit salad (which would kind of defeat the phrase in metaphorical usage, yes?) but yes, watermelon and tomato struck me as a marriage destined for court.

Kelly ~ But see? People have different tastes and so who knows who'll like the combination!

Lisa ~ Ah, someone else who 'paints' her food onto a plate. Nice choices!

Jennifer ~ The dressing is GORGEOUS.

Susan ~ The fruit and salty cheese are great, for sure. Can't wait to see your collection!

Janelle ~ Aii, what a meal! I keep meaning to visit my cousin in the Okanagan Valley, now seeing you on the way in is another reason!

Tanna ~ Yes, the watermelon and blueberries were really perfect together, the cheese added too.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna