It seems we have finally gotten some typical August weather. Our summer, as a whole, has been rather cool with most nights dropping down into the 60’s and days rarely surpassing 80-85°F. In fact, we turned the air conditioner off sometime in July and haven’t turned back on since. But with the warmer weather, we like to eat lighter and try not to do much cooking in the house. That often means lots of salads, and while I like salads I find they can get boring rather quickly, meat lover that I am, so we try to change it up every so often.

This salad is a slight twist on the watermelon and feta salad that has become very popular over the last couple of years. With its popularity soaring, I’ve eaten plenty of these salads both good and bad and thought I’d share a few tips with you to help ensure your melon salad falls into the good category and not the bad. First, the chile pepper, onion and herbs mush be sliced as thinly as possible, paper thin in regards to the chile and onion, if not thinner. The second thing to remember is that this salad is most definitely best when served within an hour of making, if not sooner. Any longer than that and the onion starts to overpower the melon making for a muddled flavor and the cheese starts to fall apart making the salad look less appetizing so try to serve this immediately. Follow these 2 simple rules, along with the recipe and this recipe is sure to wow at your next luncheon or picnic.

Melon Salad
serves 6-8

6 cups melon*, seeded and either diced or balled
1 Serrano chile, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup Red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 1/2 Tbl. Fresh Mint, Lemon Balm, or Lemon Verbena, finely cut
3/4 cup Feta cheese, cut into 1/4″ dice
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
Splash Fresh lime juice
Freshly ground Black Pepper, coarsely ground

Combine all the ingredients adding just a splash of lime juice and fresh ground pepper to taste. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving but no more than 1 hour (for optimal flavor).

* Try and use a variety of melon (at least 3 or more) for a variety of flavors and colors to make the salad really come alive.