Watermelon is one of my all time favorite things. Sweet and crisp, juicy but never cloying, it’s quite possibly the perfect summer snack. It wasn’t until recently that the whole “savory watermelon” thing occurred to me. There’s pickled watermelon rind in the south, small chunks tucked away in spicy latin ceviches, and that feta salad that I’ve had at practically every barbecue this summer. And this is my version.
Why watermelon and cheese? Isn’t that weird?
I’m glad you asked.
Yeah, it’s weird, but weird in the way bacon + maple syrup is weird. It’s weird, but rightly weird. It’s OMG I ate the whole thing weird.
The sweet crispness of the watermelon, along with the juicy acidity of the tomatoes pairs beautifully with the goat cheese. You could pop feta in there too, basically any cheese that has a dense, chalky texture and a fresh, almost briny flavor. The salty/creamy thing in the cheese is dynamite with the watermelon, and with a subtle kick of chili, it’s the perfect salty/creamy/sweet/tart/crunchy/spicy combination.
2 small chilies, thinly sliced (optional)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 watermelon, sliced into 1/4 inch thick pieces
2 heirloom tomatoes (or 3 regular tomatoes) cut 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup goat cheese, sliced into small chunks
1/3 cup thinly sliced shallot
1/4 basil, thinly chiffonade
2 tablespoons mint, thinly chiffonade
Combine the chilies, vinegar, olive oil, and a big pinch of salt and pepper in a small container and mix to form a vinaigrette. Put the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and pour the vinaigrette over it. Let the bowl sit in the fridge for 1 hour, then serve. Enjoy!