Nigella Lawson may not be the first person who comes to mind when you want to turn down the heat (she tends to have the opposite effect on me), but this salad is a godsend on hot and sticky evenings when even opening the fridge seems like too much effort in the kitchen. Simple, sumptuous and surprisingly refreshing.
Sweet, juicy watermelon gets a savoury boost from salty goat’s milk feta and black olives. Black pepper adds just a touch of heat that complements the watermelon well. Mint and lime keep things bright and fresh. Add a little red onion for some crunch and you have a colourful, exotic meal that keeps things cool even when the mercury is rising.
And try to remember – even as I remind myself – it’s not Nigella’s dulcet tones or her flirtatious glances or even the way (I imagine) she handles a watermelon. No, it’s not her, it’s the humidity.
Watermelon and feta salad
(measurements are approximate, adjust to taste)
1 small red onion, halved and sliced thinly
Juice of 2-4 limes
1/2 small watermelon, in bite-size cubes (rind removed)
8 ounces feta cheese, in bite-size cubes
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 bunch fresh mint, chopped
3 ounces black olives, pitted
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Toss onion slices in lime juice (the number of limes will depend on juiciness) to temper the onion’s bite. Set aside.
Tear parsley leaves from the stems but do not chop. Combine parsley with watermelon, feta and mint.
Add onions and lime juice. Drizzle with olive oil and add freshly ground black pepper. Toss ingredients together with your hands.