RECIPE TITLE "Bread Salad with Watermelon, Feta, and Red Onion"
Excerpted from Meze . Copyright © by Diane Kochilas.
Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Makes 4 servings --- easy
The combination of feta and watermelon is one that Greek connoisseurs savor with special gusto. There is no recipe for enjoying the two together. Cut-up watermelon is served on one plate with a little feta cheese, or served separately and left to each diner to join the two together in a forkful. Here, I take this elemental duet and make something a little more special. Seek out the sweetest watermelon and Dodoni feta. You can find the latter in most Greek and Middle Eastern food shops, as well as in specialty cheese emporiums. The feta from Dodoni in Epirus has a firm, creamy texture and can be cut into cubes without crumbling.
1 Cretan barley rusk or 1 thick slice of stale country-style bread (see Note on page 34)
1 medium red onion, sliced into thin rings
3 cups cold watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup (about 4 ounces) Greek feta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon sherry or raspberry vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
A few mint sprigs
Creamy dips. Golden, crisp phyllo pastries. Refreshing salads. Juicy meatballs. Vegetable fritters. Diane Kochilas introduces the dazzling array of Greek meze and explores its rituals and traditions. A meze spread is not meant to be a meal, but a nosh, a communal, convivial landscape of small and varied dishes perfect for grazing, she explains. Some items might be storebought; others--like bread salad with watermelon and feta, pan-fried shrimp--are quickly put together at home. From yogurt and eggplant dips to seafood delights to meatballs and kebabs, Meze features 80 simple dishes that can be enjoyed as appetizers or used to create a meal. Filled with dozens of color photographs, Meze adds Mediterranean flavor to any gathering.
Dampen the bread under running water and then hold it over the sink for the water to drip off. Break it into chunks, about 1 inch each.
Place the chunks on the bottom of a serving bowl and sprinkle half the onion slices over them. Place the watermelon and any of its juices together with the feta cubes on top. Drizzle in the vinegar and toss gently, careful not to mash the watermelon. Season with pepper and garnish with the remaining onion slices and mint. Serve.