Watermelon & Goat's Cheese Salad
My summer holidays have come to what feels like a very abrupt end. Memories linger of sun-kissed mornings and long lazy days and I’m left lamenting the optimism of early summer. It’s an uncomfortable reality to relinquish that endless freedom but of course the seasons are not to mourn (though much easier said than done in my opinion). All this pining away has sent me straight for a summertime favourite; watermelon. There’s not a person I know that doesn’t have fond childhood memories of a thick cut watermelon slice, with sticky, sweet juice running down their arms and imaginings of a forest within their belly as one or two seeds escape an aim for siblings. It’s a stunning fruit and one that I feel serves as a reminder of optimism that can be recaptured in simple ways.
The rosy hue of this beauty isn’t its only endearing quality of course, it’s also a lycopene powerhouse which means that it has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health benefits. It's also a good source of beta-carotene and vitamin C and it maintains all this abundance for several days even after preparation. Watermelon are best eaten when at their ripest so when selecting a cut watermelon choose the flesh that is deepest in colour and lacks any white streaks. An uncut watermelon should be the heaviest and have a ground spot that is creamy yellow (this is where the fruit sits on the ground).
The salad is a simple one with lots of greens and minimal preparation, as summer should be. The watermelon could just as easily be diced in chunks and folded through. Though I do love the refine you get by using a melon baller. It makes for a dainty plate full of wonderful sweetness and fresh herbs that renders the remaining summer evermore inviting.
Watermelon & Goat's Cheese Salad / Serves 2-4
1 half watermelon
100g soft goats cheese
200g mixed greens (I used baby spinach and sunflower sprouts)
20 basil leaves
20 mint leaves
4 tbsp sunflower seeds, toasted
4 tbsp pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted
1 tbs nigella seeds (black sesame seeds)
For the dressing
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sumac
Combine the ingredients for the dressing and set aside. Prepare the watermelon. Scoop 30 rounds of melon using a melon baller or dice the watermelon into large chucks, removing the rind. Place the mixed greens, basil and mint in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Top with watermelon, goats cheese and seeds. Serve immediately.
Seasonal guide / temperate climates
Watermelon, mid summer through autumn
Cut watermelon should be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container and uncut at room temperature.
Avocado, shaved zucchini, cucumber, roasted macadamia nuts