In mixology circles, they say a perfect cocktail balances four elements: strong, weak, sour, sweet. And as unlikely a combination this may seem, this salad delivers an equally perfect balance of sweet, salty, refreshing, and savoury – everything you want in a summer side dish. Pair this with a most-perfectly balanced negroni.

Serves 8

1 small red onion (or half a large one)
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 x 1.5 kilogram seedless watermelon (or enough to yield about 10 cups of melon chunks)
250 grams feta
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon (or lime) juice
1 teaspoon Maldon salt 
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  1. Peel and halve the red onion and then slice very, very thinly. As thin as your knife, confidence, and patience will allow. Place into a small bowl and cover with the red wine vinegar and set aside for an hour – longer if you can. This pickling step makes the onions ‘blush’ bringing out their pinkiness and softens their sharpness. 
  2. Remove the rind from the watermelon and cut into 2” roughly-triangular chunks – but no need to get out a protractor – and place into a large, flat-ish platter.
  3. Drain the red onions (discard the vinegar) and add to the salad.
  4. Roughly crumble the feta on top of the watermelon and onion (keep some big chunks of feta), then add the basil.
  5. Add the fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper, and oil and, using your hands, gently toss to coat everything. Refrigerate briefly (15-30 mins) to let the flavours mingle or serve right away.

Recipe created by Gluggable.