Watermelon, Feta and Lime Parfait

Iced sweet chunks of watermelon with a lime tang contrast with the creamy saltiness of feta in this cooling summer first course. The olive oil adds a fruity silkiness to the dish. O Olive Oil of San Rafael, CA (888/827-7148; www.ooliveoil.com) sells a lime olive oil that is made by pressing limes along with olives. It’s a natural for this dish but, alternatively, you can mix lime zest and juice with a good fruity and fragrant olive oil.

Recipe from The Flavors of Olive Oil: A Tasting Guide and Cookbook, by Deborah Krasner. Copyright 2002 by Deborah Krasner. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Wine Recommendations: The piquancy of goat cheeses is often flattered by the steely Sauvignon Blancs of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. In this case, the added sweetness of the watermelon calls for a measure of sweetness in the accompanying wine. Wine Enthusiast recommends a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from Villa Maria or The Crossings, or a California counterpart, such as those made by Voss or Wattle Creek.

  • 5 pounds watermelon (approximately one small melon)
  • 1 cup loosely packed feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons lime olive oil (or 2 teaspoons fruity and    fragrant olive oil combined with grated zest and    juice of 1 lime)
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt

Cut the watermelon into slices 1 inch thick. Cut off the rind and pick out the seeds with the point of a knife. Cut each slice into ½-inch dice and put the pieces in a large bowl. You should have 4 cups diced melon.

Scatter the crumbled feta over the watermelon pieces and add the olive oil (and lime zest and juice, if necessary) and salt. Toss gently to mix.

Serve at once in martini glasses, goblets, glass bowls or teacups.

Published on July 1, 2010