I’ve been having an ambiguous relationship with mint all my life, sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t. As a child I only had mint in tea and didn’t particularly enjoy it. In Romania we only had tea if we were sick, mostly camomile, peppermint or linden blossom tea and that is why, for a long time, I associated herb tea and especially mint or camomile with being sick. In time, I got over it but still didn’t like mint particularly.
A few years ago as my interest in cooking grew I tried to use mint in cooking. And hated it. I tried a few salads and couscous and sauces and I just couldn’t eat the stuff, so I gave up.
But last year I had a revelation. I had a lot of mint growing in my garden (for tea) and found a recipe for a mint pesto (coming up as soon as I have made some photos of this year’s batch). I loved it so much that it somehow changed my taste in this direction. Now I have mint in salads and couscous and peas and whatever, you name it, as long as I have fresh mint in the garden I keep using it.
Maybe this love for mint will soon change again but until then I try to use it as much as I can. As in this wonderful watermelon feta salad.
- ½ small watermelon
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz feta, can use low-fat
- 1 small red onion
- 1 small bunch of mint
- 1 small handful pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, optional
- freshly ground black pepper
- Cube the watermelon into bite-sized pieces and arrange the pieces on a platter. Crumble the feta cheese on top. Slice the onion thinly and scatter it over the salad.
- Pick the mint leaves and add to the salad. Roast the pine nuts in a small pan without any additional fat. Keep a close eye on them, they can burn easily. When they are ready immediately turn onto a plate and let cool down for a few minutes.
- Mix together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add the white vinegar if you like your salads on the sour side (I do). Adjust the taste with salt and pepper. Pour over the salad, scatter the pine nuts on top and serve immediately.