This watermelon and tomato salad is all about balance, yin and yang and how opposites attract. I first tried this dish at a Greek restaurant in Manhattan Beach called Petros. It’s called Karpouzi salad. Karpouzi meaning watermelon in Greek. I vary my recipe a little because it is hard to find Manouri cheese, which is what the restaurant adds in addition to the Feta cheese. They also add fresh mint leaves. I couldn’t find any at the market, so I didn’t add any. It is refreshing, and satisfying. The sweetness of the watermelon and tomatoes with the peppery arugula, and salty feta cheese, a knockout combination.
Begin with two large heirloom tomatoes. Look at these beauties.
Rinse and dice the tomatoes, first in wedges then into halves. Not too small.
Next, I use a half a small seedless watermelon. Just in season. Cut into nice size chunks, not too small either. You don’t want it to break up or get mushy.
Add the tomatoes and watermelon to your salad bowl.
You will need honey, extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar. I use champagne vinegar.
Here’s where the real balancing act begins. Drizzle a small stream of honey over the tomato and watermelon. Not too much, about two tablespoons worth.
Now I get the arugula (rocket) greens. You could use any lettuce or baby greens, even spinach I suppose but arugula has a peppery flavor that compliments the tomato and watermelon perfectly.
More balance, add the arugula. Not too much. Just an equal amount to the eye to balance the tomatoes and watermelon. Add fresh black pepper and fresh salt at this point.
Now add the Feta cheese.
In another bowl, I break up about a half a cup of feta into small pieces.
Add the feta to the salad, once again, balance. Not too much, but just enough to be evenly distributed throughout the salad.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Add two splashes of champagne vinegar to finish the dressing.
Final balancing act-mix everything well. All the flavors with blend together. The sweet, the sharp, the peppery, the salty. Yummy!
2 large tomatoes, (heirloom if available)
1/2 a small seedless watermelon
2 cups of fresh arugula leaves
1/2 cup of feta cheese
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
3 – 4 mint leaves (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
Chop the tomatoes into wedges and then into halves. Chop the watermelon into equal size chunks. Place in a salad bowl. Drizzle honey over the tomatoes and watermelon, about two tablespoons. Add two cups of fresh arugula and chopped mint leaves.Then add a half a cup of crumbled feta cheese to the salad bowl. Season with fresh black pepper and salt. Drizzle about two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and two dashes of white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar, then toss well. Enjoy!
Serves 2 – 4