Watermelon Salad with Feta and Verjus Vinaigrette

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Watermelon and feta salad with verjus dressing for a super-easy summer salad.

watermelon and feta salad, verjus, summer, easy entertaining

Ver-what?


Verjus isn’t a mainstream ingredient, and yet it’s been around since the Middle Ages when it was used as a sauce ingredient, tenderizer, and condiment. It’s pronounced ver-jue, translated as “green juice”, and is extracted from unripened grapes.

Verjus is much softer than the brash edges of vinegar, think green apple tartness instead, but is often used as an alternative. What I particularly like is that less oil is needed in a vinaigrette when I use verjus. A lot less. Instead of using the typical 3 – 4 parts oil to vinegar, for example, in this salad I went with 1/2 part oil to verjus. That’s a huge difference in calories.

I’ve used both Terra Sonoma’s VerJus out of Sonoma County (California), and Navarro’s Verjus, a Mendocino, California winery, and they’re both wonderful. Add it to salad dressings, sauces, braises, or the water used to simmer artichokes or whole grains for a wine-like infusion of flavor that’s not overly sweet.

As a note, verjus is non-alcoholic and only lasts about a week in the refrigerator once opened, so use it lavishly.

Watermelon and Feta Salad with Verjus
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 1 small watermelon
  • ⅓ cup feta cheese (I use feta cheese from sheep's milk)
  • ⅛ cup (2 Tbsp) mint leaves thinly slivered
  • ⅛ cup (2 Tbsp) basil leaves thinly slivered
  • ⅛ cup (2 Tbsp) pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds)
  • ¼ cup verjus
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut away the green and white rind layers from the watermelon, and slice into 1-inch cubes. Lay on a serving dish.
  2. Cut the cheese into ½-inch pieces and spread over the watermelon pieces.
  3. Sprinkle the mint and basil on top. When I use basil in my garden, I toss on some basil flowers too. Add the pepitas.
  4. Combine the verjus and oil, and drizzle over the watermelon salad. Finish with a light pinch of salt and ground black pepper.
  5. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving.
Notes
NUTRITION INFORMATION (per serving)

Calories: 188
Fat: 13.4 g (Saturated Fat: 3.9 g)
Sodium: 195.9 g
Potassium: 174 g
Carbs: 13.1 g
Protein: 5.4 g
This is a great salad for a last-minute BBQ, a potluck dinner, or a picnic. And it’s picnic season! In honor of picnic season as we march towards the big 4th of July holiday here in the States, the #SundaySupper crowd is having a huge virtual picnic. So go see what everyone’s bringing, and pick up some great ideas for your own picnic! A big thanks to Jane at Jane’s Adventures in Dinner for hosting us this week!

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Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

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Comments

  1. says

    We have an Australian cook/media personality called Maggie Beer who is a big advocate for the use of verjus (or verjuice as it is often labelled over here!). It’s great, I’ve fallen in love with it! Love this gorgeous salad, the crunchy pepitas and herbs must add so much gorgeous complexity. I can’t wait to try it xx
    laurasmess recently posted..Beef and Guinness Hand PiesMy Profile

  2. says

    I love any instruction to use something lavishly! I can’t wait to get my hands on some verjus now. Definitely starting some research as to where I might be able to get some around here.

    Love the combo of watermelon and feta, and the pepitas for crunch are so smart!
    Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons recently posted..Basil Berry DaiquiriMy Profile

  3. says

    I’ve never heard of verjus. How very interesting!! Thanks for introducing a new ingredient. I love this salad and can’t wait for watermelons to start showing up here. I make something similar with a little preserved lemons added in. Now I’m on the hunt for verjus .
    mjskit recently posted..Mixed Berry Pudding (aka Summer Pudding)My Profile

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