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Greek Watermelon Salad


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Photo: Alexandra Shytsman for the Compassionate Cuisine Cookbook

Greek Watermelon Salad

Serves 4 to 6


If you make nothing else this summer...make this. This cool and refreshing Greek Watermelon Salad is my recipe from the Compassionate Cuisine Cookbook and it swells with summer goodness. Sweet, juicy watermelon and cherry tomatoes are a sharp contrast to the salty olives and tofu feta. It may seem like an unusual combination of flavors but I've served this to small groups and at large events and never had to wrap up leftovers! In this updated version, I've removed the olive oil and replaced it with a simple but flavorful dressing although a good squeeze of lemon juice would also coax out the season’s best flavors.


If you'd like to purchase the cookbook and support Catskill Animal Sanctuary where I worked when I wrote it, you can buy it on their site or on Amazon.


Ingredients

For the Tofu Feta

1 (14-ounce) package of firm tofu, drained

3 tablespoons yellow/white miso

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon salt


For the Salad

About 4 heaping cups of cubed watermelon

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced(if it's very seedy, scoop seeds out)

1 small red onion, thinly sliced, about ½ cup

⅓ cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped

½ cup fresh parsley, mint, or basil, roughly chopped


For the Dressing

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons mustard

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 large clove garlic, pressed or grated

Ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 teaspoon salt


Directions

  1. To make the tofu feta, start by pressing out excess water. Wrap it in a double layer of paper towels. Lay it flat on a cutting board and put another board or plate on top. Then, place a can of beans or something with a similar weight on top. Let sit for about 5 minutes.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking tray with parchment. In a medium bowl, mix the miso, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic and onion powders, and salt. Unwrap the tofu and cut it into 1-inch cubes and add to the bowl. Stir gently to coat the tofu. Arrange tofu in a single layer on the baking tray. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until cubes turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely or refrigerate while assembling the salad and making the dressing.

  3. To assemble the salad, gently toss the watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives, and fresh herbs in a large serving bowl or platter. Top with feta and gently toss again.

  4. To make the dressing, whisk the dressing ingredients together and drizzle over the salad before serving.

  5. Salad is best when eaten on the same day but the tofu feta can be made a day in advance.

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