Watermelon Salad

Several weeks ago, friends of ours came over for a smoke-out.  They brought with them a delicious watermelon and feta salad.  Of course, I had to know where they got the recipe.  Turns out it's a Paula Deen recipe from the Food Network.

So when the Husband picked up several watermelons the other day, I knew I had to make this super simple summer side to go with filets and corn on the cob that he was grilling up.

I love this salad about as much as I love tomato caprese salad (which is A LOT!).  The watermelon is sweet, but is balanced out by the acidity of the vinegar, tartness and bite of the feta and the onions.  All of the flavors meld so well together, that I just can't imagine a better use for watermelon than this. This salad is also visually beautiful with the bright red, green and white.

Quick notes:
- I increased the amount of feta called for in this recipe by 2 ounces.
- Don't be scared by the onions! The Husband was worried because he tends to not like raw onion, but the vinegar really breaks them down and they are a delicious component of this salad.

Watermelon Salad

1 (5-pound) watermelon
1 Vidalia or other sweet onion
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
6 whole mint sprigs

Cut the flesh from the melon and cut into bite size pieces, removing and discarding the seeds, and set aside. Peel and slice the onion into rings.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, pepper, and whisk until salt is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, a few drops at a time. Add in the chopped mint, taste, and adjust seasonings.

In a large bowl, combine the melon, onion, and feta Pour the dressing over the melon mixture and toss gently until everything is coated and evenly mixed. Garnish with mint sprigs.

To serve, divide salad among individual plates and garnish with mint leaves.