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Melon salad with feta and mint makes a refreshing summer side. (Ed Haun/Detroit Free Press/MCT)

Summer Melon Salad with Mint and Feta


When local melon is in season, having a melon side salad with any grilled meal is a bonus.

Today’s recipe pairs melon with mint and feta cheese. The sweet taste of the melon is a good match for the salty cheese and peppery arugula. Use a melon baller to shape the melon pieces or you can cube them.

When it comes to prepping melon, always rinse the the outside before slicing into it. If you don’t, you can potentially cross-contaminate. Melons are grown close to the ground, so when you cut through an unwashed one, anything that was on the rind from the soil or from human contact can get on the knife and transfer to the melon flesh.

So wash the melons under running water before you slice it. Use a vegetable brush especially for netted melons, such as cantaloupe to give it a good scrub.

Once you cut through it, many sources recommend washing the knife again before you finish cutting up the melon.



Summer Melon Salad with Feta and Mint

Serves: 6; Prep time 15 minutes; Total time 25 minutes



4 cups cubed or balled melon, such as watermelon, honey dew, cantaloupe or muskmelon

1 pint cherry, grape or pear tomatoes, washed, cut in half

4 ounces cubed feta cheese (about 1/2 cup)

1 bunch watercress, stems removed, washed and drained (about 2 cups) or use arugula

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Sea salt, to taste

Freshly ground pepper, to taste



-Place the melon and tomatoes on a large platter or arrange them on individual serving plates.

-Sprinkle the cheese and watercress evenly on top.

-Drizzle the salad with olive oil and vinegar and sprinkle it with mint.

-Season with sea salt and pepper and serve.

Adapted from Cottage Living, August 2005 issue.

Nutrition: 136 calories (59 percent from fat), 9 g fat (4 g sat. fat), 11 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 220 mg sodium, 17 mg cholesterol, 121 mg calcium, 1 g fiber.

        

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