The last salad of summer

Yesterday I saw a woman walking down the street in a winter coat. It was a profoundly depressing sight, even if though it was a lovely coat and she’d accessorised with a natty beret. March 1 is the official start of autumn here and there’s no escaping that the summer is over. I’ve nothing against autumn per se, but things are melancholy enough at the moment and I’d prefer a few more days of sunshine first.

Seeing Miss Winter stride down the street reminded me that I haven’t shown you what we’ve been eating on an almost daily basis lately. I don’t claim to have invented this combo, but I feel as passionately about it as anything I’ve come up with myself. It’s the soul of summer – cold, salty and refreshing – so eat it with the heating turned up or wait for a really dazzling day.

Watermelon, Feta and Olive Salad
I never measure anything when I make this so excuse the vague approximations. Use the best feta, olive and watermelon you can find. The old Chinese lady at the market last week told me to look for watermelons with a black stem (or what remains of one) as this indicates that they are properly ripe.

About half a small watermelon, chopped into chunks (and deseeded if you can be bothered)
About 300g feta, chopped into chunks
About 1 cup black olives, stoned (I use the Pelion brand of kalamata olives in the distinctive khaki tin)
A couple of spring onions or 1/2 a red onion, finely sliced
A few handfuls of basil leaves
Olive oil
Black pepper

Toss everything together gently in a pretty bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and grind over lots of black pepper. Serve cold on a hot day. This also makes a great take-to-work lunch, the sort that everyone will envy.



  1. March 8, 2011 / 7:13 pm

    I would share in your mourning for summer … except that we are due snow tonight!!!!!!! Not happy Jan! But this is a great looking salad ;0)

  2. March 9, 2011 / 11:25 am

    Lovely salad. I love the mixture of salty feta and olives with the juicy sweetness of watermelon. yum!
    Well, in the northen hemisphere, in Sunderland at least, there's no sign of spring yet. It's still pretty miserable outside.

  3. March 9, 2011 / 1:41 pm

    dear lucy, to us that one will be the earliest salad of spring-anticipating summer ever! pls be happy for that! i kindly invite you to try your sunny salad with melons as well! i also prefer to season this salad at the end with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar! lovely! greetings fm frozen greece!

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