watermelon salad with goats cheese, watercress, mint and vodka

I fell completely in love with this salad when I tasted it at the Socitei Bistro summer menu tasting. Its simply refreshing and absolutely perfect for a hot summers day or night.

With a few guidelines, (as in what ingredients to use for the dressing) from the Societi chef himself, Stefan Marais, this is my attempt to emulate it.

In terms of quantities, it really was a bit of this and a bit of that. So I am going to list the ingredients with an estimate on quantities, but this serves as a very rough guideline, and depends on the number of servings you need to make.  You can also adjust to taste, after all, there are no rules.

what you need to make this salad:

  • Watermelon – about 4 wedges per person
  • chevre / goats cheese for each serving (feta could also work)
  • watercress
  • mint (about 3 leaves per portion)
  • sugar
  • white wine vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • vodka

Stefan was specific about being generous with the vodka so this is what I did:

In a pestle and mortar, grind up the dressing ingredients to the volume that you require.  I added about 1 part vinegar to 2 parts olive oil and about 1 teaspoon of sugar for 2 servings.  In terms of vodka, add a good splash but check the taste as you go. Its possible that I added a bit much, but vodka has little flavour. Its there to deliver a punch.

Cut the watermelon into chunks or wedges and lay flat. I bought and tried for the first time; orange seedless watermelon which intrigued me. I love new fruit. It tastes exactly the same and adds a bit of colour. Drizzle the salad dressing all over the pieces and allow them to macerate ever so slightly. Do this shortly before you serve as you don’t want the melon to get too soggy. Pile a few wedges on a plate individually, or a large serving platter and sprinkle over broken up chunks and bits of  goats cheese.  Scatter over fresh watercress and a few small mint leaves as garnish.

Voila! a delicious ‘spiked’ summer salad. Thanks for sharing Stefan, I hope this sort of lives up to your lovely creation.

sweet and salty with a delicious minty kick
a little bit of watermelon ‘porn’


  1. Do you think I can sample the food that you will be styling at FBI2011? Looks delish!

  2. Ooooooh late night snack just for me. This looks so fresh and flavourful I could just tuck right into a whole platter all to myself. Thanx for sharing. I will definitely be trying it out asap xx

  3. Stefan Marais

    Wow sam! Awesome! – I think yours looks better than mine! The pestle and mortar makes all the difference with the dressing! What an amazing effort! – I feel honored!

  4. Divine – love the colours so much and watercress is def the best leaf to go with this.

  5. I just made a similar salad with chicken for supper! Saw it on Barefoot Contessa last week and fell inlove! 🙂 Gorgeous photo’s!

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