This summery salad is a gift from Greece
Greek immigrants greatly influence the upper Texas coast.
Greeks traveled to the Americas mostly between 1890 and 1920, many as seamen. Many wanted to escape war with Turkey, the economic depression at the turn of the century and an expensive dowry system that forced many to seek their fortunes elsewhere, according to historians. Before the mass immigration, the earlier arrivals were adventurers, better known as pirates, with many sailing as part of Jean Laffite’s buccaneer fleet.
Each year, coastal communities host festivals to highlight and celebrate Greek culture and to serve traditional dishes — gyros, souvlaki, baklava and lamb chops to name a few.
One popular summertime dish is Karpouzi Salata, which features seedless watermelon with a feta sauce and balsamic glaze.
3-4 cups cubed, seedless watermelon
1⁄2 cup red onion, sliced
2 cups crumbled feta, divided
3⁄4 cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped
1⁄2 cup sour cream
1⁄4 cup milk
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
2⁄3 cup balsamic vinegar, good quality
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
Combine watermelon, red onion, 11⁄4 cup feta and 1⁄2 cup mint. Refrigerate.
To make the sauce, place 1⁄2 cup feta, sour cream, milk and salt in a blender. Blend, adding milk to modify texture. Place in a squeeze bottle.
To make the glaze, combine vinegar, honey and brown sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and reduce mixture by half. Place in a squeeze bottle.
Place melon mixture in individual bowls, drizzle with feta sauce and balsamic glaze, top with extra feta and mint.