Watermelon and feta salad with verjus dressing for a super-easy summer salad.
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 ½ 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
- 1 small watermelon
- ⅓ cup feta cheese I use feta cheese from sheep's milk
- ⅛ cup 2 tablespoon mint leaves thinly slivered
- ⅛ cup 2 tablespoon basil leaves thinly slivered
- ⅛ cup 2 tablespoon pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds)
- ¼ cup verjus
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Cut away the green and white rind layers from the watermelon, and slice into 1-inch cubes. Lay on a serving dish.
- Cut the cheese into ½-inch pieces and spread over the watermelon pieces.
- Sprinkle the mint and basil on top. When I use basil in my garden, I toss on some basil flowers too. Add the pepitas.
- Combine the verjus and oil, and drizzle over the watermelon salad. Finish with a light pinch of salt and ground black pepper.
- Let sit for 30 minutes before serving.
Fat: 13.4 g (Saturated Fat: 3.9 g)
Sodium: 195.9 g
Potassium: 174 g
Carbs: 13.1 g
Protein: 5.4 g