I have been delaying posting this recipe because I still don’t have a “food porn” photo of it to get you salivating. However, the reason for this is that this salad is so very, very refreshing and delicious that it is always gobbled up before I can take one.
I tasted it for the first time at a big family reunion we had for Franck’s Dad’s side of the family (The Germains) just after we returned from Canada. Franck’s cousin Sylvie had made it and I demanded the recipe after only three forkfuls – it’s that good. Better yet, making it is as easy as falling off a log.
So I’m posting it along with photos of our French family reunion, including the ubiquitous game of pétanque, to get you in the mood.
1 English cucumber – seeds removed
4 large tomatoes or 6 medium – seeds removed
1 cantaloupe or Cavaillon style melon – seeds removed
1 block of feta (about 200g) that is NOT marinated in oil and / or herbs
few sprigs of fresh mint (optional)
My dead easy French vinaigrette made preferably with a lighter tasting oil (i.e. vegetable rather than olive oil) and a white wine vinegar rather than a red or balsamic. This makes a lighter tasting vinaigrette that goes better with this salad.
– Once you have removed seeds from the cucumber, tomatoes, and melon, cut all three ingredients into smallish cubes. Size isn’t as important as the fact that the cubes should all be more or less the same size.
– Make vinaigrette.
– Thoroughly toss cubed fruit and veg with vinaigrette in big bowl until well mixed.
– Cube feta into cubes same size, mix cubed feta delicately with rest so as to coat with vinaigrette but not to break up feta more than necessary.
– Snip few leaves of fresh mint on top just before serving.
* You can either serve the salad in a big bowl for a potluck style offering, or cute little glass bowls or cups if you want to make it look a bit more elegant. I often serve it in glass bowls as an entrée before the main dish; the combination of colours looks smashing.
* I added a few snips of freshly cut mint on my bowls before serving, and this really brought out the fresh taste of this delightful concoction. However, you can eliminate this if you don’t have any kicking around or don’t like mint.
* My friend Charlotte has also made this recipe a few times with great success. One time she couldn’t find any melons so she substituted nectarines and it was apparently delicious. Once again, use your imagination!