Watermelon & feta with herby bulgur

by Jenny Chandler

A sweet and salty refreshing summer salad

Sweet watermelon contrasts beautifully with the salty, tangy flavours of the feta and black olives. Bulgur is both filling and nutritious, but you could just as easily use quinoa or millet if gluten is a problem.


200g fine or medium grain bulgur wheat
Juice of ½ lemon
½ red onion, finely sliced
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
200g feta cheese, cubed
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp black or white sesame seeds
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Large sprig of parsley leaves, chopped
Large sprig of mint leaves, chopped
100g pitted black olives
1 slice watermelon, cut into chunks


Soak the bulgur wheat in the lemon juice and about 400ml of boiling water.

Toast the fennel and sesame seeds in a dry frying pan until they smell divine, then tip out onto a plate. Roll the feta cheese in the seeds.

Soak the red onion in the wine vinegar—it will turn the most fabulous fuchsia pink.

Drain any excess water from the bulgur, season with pepper, add the extra virgin olive oil and stir in the herbs. Now add enough of the onion and vinegar to the wheat to make it taste fresh. Add a little salt but be careful, your feta and olives may be pretty salty themselves.

Place the wheat in your container, then sprinkle over the olives, feta and watermelon. Don’t stir the salad together until you are on location and about to eat.

ALTERNATIVES: Try using couscous or quinoa instead of bulgur wheat, and whole cherry tomatoes instead of the melon. Don’t be tempted to chop the tomatoes as they can go rather woolly after a while.

Recipe: Jenny Chandler
Images: John Holdship