Smoked Watermelon Salad with Fresh Basil and Feta Crumbles

  • Servings: 6 servings
  • Prep time: ~ 5-10 minutes
red-and-yellow-watermelon-with-fresh-basil,-feta-and-Smoked-applewood-pacific-sea-salt

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe watermelon
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 10 large basil leaves
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Back to Organic Smoked Pacific Sea Salt with Sweet Applewood

For years I have heard people say they salt their watermelon and now I understand why if you use the right salt. It is amazing. The Smoky flavor of the Applewood Smoked Pacific sea salt sprinkled on sweet watermelon is shockingly good. When combined with freshly minced basil and feta crumbles, you have a restaurant quality dish. This watermelon recipe will be the talk of your next picnic or barbecue.

To really get all the flavors to meld together, you need a ripe, juicy watermelon. This year it has been tough to find a really ripe watermelon. I think they are picking them early because they are worried about the amount of rain and heat or they just do not have that many good ones to sell. I have read that the watermelon crop last year was not good due to the heat and rain and I think it is worse this year. I cannot remember ever having this many rainy days in one summer!

Here are some tips to find the best one. Look for a shiny watermelon that is green with only one yellow spot where the watermelon rested on the ground. This spot should be yellowish white and not greenish white. Look for a watermelon that is larger than the others and feels heavy for it’s size. This watermelon below is not large enough to pick.

daughter-looking-at-a-watermelon

Everyone says to find one that sounds hollow when you thump it with your knuckles. Frankly, I cannot tell a difference in the sound but still thump them every time hoping I will figure it out one day. Let me know if you can tell the difference.

I need to thank Chef Heather at HHDesserts for recommending this watermelon salad to me. She uses Back to Organic Smoked Applewood Pacific Sea Salt for some of her chocolate tarts, caramels, candied almonds and other desserts and thought it would compliment watermelon as well. She was right and this is my new favorite watermelon salad this summer. You will love it!

Directions

1) Slice the watermelon in half and then quarter. Cut the watermelon off the rind and then cut into bite size cubes.

2) Wash and pat dry about 10 large basil leaves. Place each leaf on top of the other in a stack. Now roll the leaves into a tight tube. Using a sharp knife cut parallel to the stem so you will have long strands of basil after you finish cutting them. This also keeps the basil looking green longer.  Click here for more detailed instructions on how to chiffonade basil. Pictures are from VeganYUMYUM site.

3)  Spread the basil chiffonade and feta crumbles over the top of the watermelon cubes. I use about 1/4 cup of feta. Add more or less depending on your taste. Make sure they are small crumbles.

4) Sprinkle Back to Organic Smoked Pacific Sea Salt with Sweet Applewood over the watermelon salad. Use 1/2 teaspoon and add more if needed. The salt will melt into the watermelon juices so make sure you scoop up some of the juices toward the end of the meal. Enjoy!

 

Why You Want to Eat This!

  • Watermelons pack a punch with very little calories. They are high in Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, B Vitamins, Potassium, and Magnesium. Watermelons help remove free radicals and inflammation from your body. The high amount of Lycopene can decrease your risk of colon, breast, lung, endometrial, and prostate cancers as well as improve your bone health. Research has shown that watermelons in combination with green tea are especially effective against prostate cancer. Watermelons can also lower your blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, protect against macular degeneration, and prevent erectile dysfunction like Viagra (a little more information than you needed).
  • Basil has anti-inflammatory effects and “The eugenol component of basil’s volatile oils has been the subject of extensive study, since this substance can block the activity of an enzyme in the body called cyclooxygenase (COX). Many non-steriodal over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS), including aspirin and ibuprofen, as well as the commonly used medicine acetaminophen, work by inhibiting this same enzyme.” Basil can also protect your DNA as well as fight bacteria growth. read more

References

http://www.ehow.com/how_2312399_choose-ripe-watermelons.html
http://veganyumyum.com/2007/01/how-to-chiffonade-basil/ 
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=31
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=85

 

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Recipe by Back To Organic at http://backtoorganic.com/smoked-watermelon-salad-with-fresh-basil-and-feta-crumbles/