Watermelon, or karpuz, as we call it in Turkish, is a much loved summer fruit and my daughter’s favorite. I remember as a child, cooling the watermelon at my grandmother’s little fountain in her courtyard in Antakya (and we children dipping in and out of the fountain to cool down, along with the watermelon). We would eagerly wait for our cool slice of watermelon, and that heavenly very first bite into the sweet, refreshing fruit – happy days.
This is a typical, refreshing and delicious salad we Turks love. A very simple one too, with only watermelon, Turkish beyaz peynir, white cheese (or feta cheese) and a few fresh mint leaves in it. Ripe, juicy and sweet watermelon doesn’t really require any other dressing in this salad and complement the mildly salty white cheese or feta cheese very well. We love this salad as part of our summer Turkish breakfast, for lunch or as a side to grills. With fresh Pide bread, ekmek by the side, this watermelon and feta salad is one of the highlights of summer for me.
We will be off to Turkey shortly; I can’t wait to see family, friends and take in all the sights, smells and tastes my wonderful homeland offers. I wish you all a lovely summer in delicious food and company. I look forward to being in touch from home to share the delights of this magical land.
Before I sign off; delighted to let you know that I will be teaching a feast of Turkish Cookery Classes with the wonderful Divertimenti Cookery School in London, on Tuesday 13th October and on Sunday, 13th December. Please save the dates, I would love to see you there, if you can. Places are limited and the bookings will be through Divertimenti Cookery School website as of 2nd September, you can see the class details at Ozlem’s Turkish Table – Cookery Classes.
Afiyet Olsun, Happy Summer – Guzel bir yaz dilegiyle,
- 3 slices of medium, ripe and cool watermelon
- 200 gr / 7 oz. Turkish white cheese, beyaz peynir or feta cheese
- Fresh mint leaves to decorate
- Keep the watermelon in the fridge for 2 hours to cool, prior to cutting.
- Slice the watermelon and cut the skin. Take out the large seeds in the watermelon (smaller seeds don’t bother us and we leave, you can take them out if you prefer).
- Cut the watermelon into about 1 in (2,5 cm) cubes or small wedges. Place the watermelon in a serving plate.
- Drain the juice of the Turkish white cheese or feta cheese and cut into small cubes (again about 1 in/ 2,5 cm).
- Gently toss the feta cheese and watermelon in the serving plate and garnish with fresh mint leaves.
- Serve immediately with fresh Pide bread or pita bread slices by the side. This refreshing salad is delicious as part of Turkish style breakfast or lunch. You can also serve watermelon and feta salad with grilled fish, meat and vegetables.