Opposites attract; just ask salted caramel, chocolate-covered pretzels, or kettle corn. These treats are all sweet-and-salty food combinations and here’s a new one to add to summer – just before the season ends.
Watermelon and feta cheese may not seem like the perfect pair, but you’ll have to trust me when I tell you that they are. I tried the combination when I traveled through Israel and became a believer in their seemingly unbecoming food relationship.
The sharp tanginess of the feta nicely complements the juicy, sugary flavor of the watermelon. The cheese needn’t be feta, but it should be salty.
For a get-together with family or friends, you can make a tray of hors d’oeuvres to pass out. Cut the watermelon and feta into bite-size pieces – a small circular cookie-cutter will make cute round shapes – and stack them, in that order, adding a fresh basil leaf on top of each bite.
Stick toothpicks or cocktail picks in the mini-masterpieces for the final step. This starter is essentially like the classic Italian tomato-mozzarella-basil antipasto, except sweeter and saltier.
In a salad, practically “anything goes,” and if you try tossing watermelon and feta with arugula, you won’t be disappointed.
Other flavors to include in such a salad or in different ways with watermelon and feta are cucumber, kalamata olives, red onion, fresh mint, and balsamic vinegar – and that’s certainly not the end of the list.
Experimentation is the only way to create something new and refreshing. After all, the simple two-ingredient creation of watermelon and feta cheese was probably an accident, one of those culinary “mistakes that worked.”
Some odd couples do end up withstanding the test of time. Marry the darling fruit of summertime with the choice cheese of the Mediterranean, and you’ll taste the love.