Yesterday I saw a woman walking down the street in a winter coat. It was a profoundly depressing sight, even if though it was a lovely coat and she'd accessorised with a natty beret. March 1 is the official start of autumn here and there's no escaping that the summer is over. I've nothing against autumn per se, but things are melancholy enough at the moment and I'd prefer a few more days of sunshine first.
Seeing Miss Winter stride down the street reminded me that I haven't shown you what we've been eating on an almost daily basis lately. I don't claim to have invented this combo, but I feel as passionately about it as anything I've come up with myself. It's the soul of summer - cold, salty and refreshing - so eat it with the heating turned up or wait for a really dazzling day.
Watermelon, Feta and Olive Salad
I never measure anything when I make this so excuse the vague approximations. Use the best feta, olive and watermelon you can find. The old Chinese lady at the market last week told me to look for watermelons with a black stem (or what remains of one) as this indicates that they are properly ripe.
About half a small watermelon, chopped into chunks (and deseeded if you can be bothered)
About 300g feta, chopped into chunks
About 1 cup black olives, stoned (I use the Pelion brand of kalamata olives in the distinctive khaki tin)
A couple of spring onions or 1/2 a red onion, finely sliced
A few handfuls of basil leaves
Toss everything together gently in a pretty bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and grind over lots of black pepper. Serve cold on a hot day. This also makes a great take-to-work lunch, the sort that everyone will envy.