Watermelon Salad with Stracchino cheese & Micro Cresses
Flaming pink, like the legs of a healthy flamingo, I don’t think you’d be much surprised to know that watermelons are reputed to deliver Viagra like effects to the blood vessels and increase libido. I’d imagine the science is yet to be sold as fact or in tablet form, and that in order to have the effects desired an enormous quantity of watermelon must be consumed. I have no problem with that.
Watermelon is the quintessential South African summer fruit and if our warm months are to be defined by a fruit, watermelon would be it, if anything for it’s ability to tug at the nostalgic heartstrings. Picture this- spicy lamb chops sizzling on the braai, cold baked bean salad, warm rolls and wedges of chilled watermelon, the juice running down elbows and high pitched squeals of delight as brother and sister compete in a game of who can spit the seeds farthest: portrait of a childhood in Natal in December.
As we move into Autumn, and the days still remain hot and the nights balmy, I’m clinging to the watermelon for a while longer yet. It is still in season and available to enjoy.
I have made varieties of the Watermelon Salad with Vodka Mint dressing as made popular by Chef Stefan Marais of Societi Bistro ; this is an adaptation of that.
I was recently given some amazing micro watercresses, a Dutch product with flavours such as cumin, liquorice and garlic and used them to garnish this salad and contrast with the sweetness of the watermelon.
The ribbons of cheese used are a stracchino style one which is fresh, milky and slightly salty, made by Cape Town darlings and producers of fine, authentic Italian cheeses, Puglia. Crema di balsamico and a few drops of olive oil bring the salad together.
650g watermelon, cut into wedges or strips
10 shavings stracchino cheese (or use goat’s milk feta or ordinary feta)
handful micro cresses (alternatively lay on a bed of regular watercress)
1 tsp olive oil
crema di balsamico to drizzle
Arrange watermelon on a serving platter.
Scatter cheese and cresses.
Drizzle with olive oil and crema di balsamico.