Summertime and the living is easy… If anyone asked me what summer tastes like, I would no doubt say, that it tastes like Watermelon and Feta Salad with Basil and sweet fruity balsamic reduction. With the addition of salty prosciutto and a slice of crusty bread, this salad is the ultimate summer lunch! You can also serve it as a light starter! It is the perfect sweet and savoury combination of flavours that just scream al fresco dining in the summertime!
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Watermelon in Savoury Salad?
We make a couple of different salads that have watermelon as the star of the show. And every time Seb takes one of these salads to work, he says he gets some bizarre looks from colleagues. Watermelon in a savoury dish!? YES! It’s great!
It hasn’t been that long ago, 4-5 years ago, that we had our first Watermelon and Prosciutto Salad in the garden of my in-laws on a warm summer day. Ever since, we have this watermelon salad at least twice a month as soon as the weather starts to get warm. This salad is the best one: it is so incredibly refreshing, it is also lower in calories, but filling enough for lunch if served with some crusty Sourdough Bread.
OK, I may be a bit biased when I say that this watermelon feta salad with balsamic dressing is the best salad in the world. I am a huge watermelon fan to start with. I’ll go as far as to say that it is my favourite fruit and… the only fruit that can stand in place of a dessert on its own. But ever since I had it in a savoury salad, my mind was blown. The fresh and sweet watermelon is absolutely brilliant when paired with salty ingredients such as prosciutto and feta cheese. What is more, we scattered some toasted pine nuts and drizzled the lot with balsamic reduction.
Ingredients and Substitutes
- watermelon: choose a seedless watermelon that is ripe and sweet.
- cucumber: we used English cucumber, but any cucumber that doesn’t have tough or bitter skin will do.
- fresh herbs: mint and basil.
- olive oil: extra virgin
- feta: or replace feta with soft young goat’s cheese.
- prosciutto: optional. Skip it if you are catering for vegetarians. For extra texture and a salty hit, try frying prosciutto before adding it on top of your salad!
- pinenuts: toasted. Pinenuts can also be replaced with other buttery types of nuts like pecans or walnuts.
- balsamic glaze or see below if you want to make your own balsamic reduction.
Make the Watermelon Prosciutto Salad
Place pinenuts in a dry frying pan and toast until just starting to brown. Then tip the pinenuts into a bowl to prevent further browning and leave to cool down.
Cut your watermelon into chunks. It is, of course, best to use seedless watermelon, but if you can’t find one, just try and scrape out most of the seeds. Slice your cucumber into half rounds.
Place the watermelon, cucumber, prosciutto pieces, mint and basil in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and toss lightly to coat.
Alternatively, mix everything except for prosciutto. Fry the prosciutto until it crisps up and use it to top the watermelon basil salad for an extra texture and a hit of salty goodness.
Divide the watermelon prosciutto salad between two bowls. Crumble feta on top, scatter toasted pinenuts and drizzle with balsamic glaze just before serving.
Making Your Own Balsamic Glaze
You will need:
- 120 ml balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp brown sugar
Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and add the sugar. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to a minimum and slowly simmer for approx. 10 minutes until it turns syrupy consistency. Pour the reduction into a small serving dish and leave to cool slightly. It will thicken as it cools.
Other Summer Salad Recipes
If you liked our Watermelon Feta Salad With Balsamic Reduction, we are sure you will love our other summer salad recipes:
Watermelon Feta Salad with Balsamic Reduction
- 400 g watermelon (prepared, skinless weight) chopped into chunks
- ½ cucumber sliced into half circles
- 15 g mint leaves roughly chopped, optional
- 10 g basil leaves roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 100 g feta
- 75 g prosciutto optional, torn into small pieces
- 30 g pinenuts
- 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze or see below if you want to make your own
For Home-Made Balsamic Glaze:
- 120 ml balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
To Make the Salad:
- Place pinenuts in a dry frying pan and toast until just starting to brown. Then tip the pinenuts into a bowl to prevent further browning and leave to cool down.
- Place the watermelon, cucumber, prosciutto pieces, mint and basil in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and toss lightly to coat.
- Divide between two bowls. Crumble feta on top, scatter toasted pinenuts and drizzle with balsamic glaze just before serving.
If You're Making Your Own Balsamic Glaze:
- Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and add the sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to minimum and slowly simmer for 10 minutes until it turns syrupy consistency. Pour the reduction into a small serving dish and leave to cool slightly. It will thicken as it cools.