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Watermelon Salad with Purple Basil and Feta

Watermelon Salad with Purple Basil and Feta
This tangy, sweet salad is always a hit with guests. For a party, you can serve the salad in the watermelon rind itself, and give diners tiny forks or toothpicks so they can help themselves, bite by juicy bite. Accompany with margaritas or cold beer, if you like.

Ingredients:

  • 1-inch-thick slice seedless watermelon, cut from center (1 to 1 1/2 lb.)
  • 1 cup pitted Niçoise or Kalamata olives
  • 5 oz. feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed small fresh purple basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Place the watermelon slice on a cutting board and cut around the outside to remove the green skin and white flesh. Cut the red flesh lengthwise and then crosswise, forming 1-inch cubes. Carefully slide the watermelon onto a platter, taking care to keep the shape of the slice intact.

Sprinkle with the olives, feta cubes and basil leaves, then drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Friends, by Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm (Oxmoor House, 2008).