Watermelon and cheese? Yeah, I know, probably sounds like a really gross combination, but if you’ve ever experienced the awesomeness that is watermelon salad with feta, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
In theory, the combination shouldn’t work. Watermelon is sweet and juicy and crunchy, and feta is briny and creamy and soft. These are two polar opposites on the flavour spectrum, and not in a good way.
When you add a little fresh lime juice and shreds of fresh mint, though, they magically come together in a glorious salty-sweet-tangy-refreshing salad that satisfies absolutely every craving you could possibly have on a hot summer’s day. (Well, except for a Fudgesicle craving. The only thing that fixes a Fudgesicle craving is a Fudgesicle. Period, full stop, accept no substitutions.)
This particular version takes all of those same elements that make the classic so surprisingly good, and then ups the ante by adding my own personal weakness – gooey-in-the-middle, crispy-around-the-edges halloumi cheese fresh off the grill.
Halloumi, if you’ve been living under a rock these past few years, is a semi-hard Cypriot cheese made from a mixture of goat and sheep’s milk.
What makes it so great is its amazing ability to hold its shape even when it’s exposed to heat, which is why Greek restaurants often use it for saganaki (aka “that flaming cheese thing”). It also means you can actually cook this stuff on the grill… and if you know me, I’ll take any opportunity I can to throw something on the barbecue.
Just trust me on this… this may just be the best thing you’ll eat all summer. Cool crunchy sweet watermelon. Hot gooey cheese. Your two summertime BFFs, together at last.
- 8 cups seedless watermelon, cut into 1" chunks
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ¼ cup finely shredded fresh mint leaves
- 3 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
- Pinch salt
- ½ lb halloumi cheese, cut into ½" slices
- Mixed spring greens or baby arugula, for serving
- Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the watermelon with red onion, mint, lime juice and a generous pinch of salt. Set aside.
- Lightly brush the grill rack with a little olive oil. Arrange the halloumi on the hot grill and cook with the lid closed for about 1 minute per side or until the cheese is nicely golden brown around the edges and starting to melt.
- To serve, arrange a couple big handfuls of mixed greens on a large serving platter. Spoon the watermelon salad onto the greens, then arrange the slices of grilled haloumi on top. Serve immediately.