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Food and Wine Pairing: Keto-Friendly Balsamic Watermelon Feta Salad

There’s no better way to celebrate summertime than with a glass of wine and a fresh summer salad. Keep reading for our Keto-Friendly Balsamic Watermelon Feta Salad and Wine Pairing!

 

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and those long summer days are only just beginning. It’s officially time for sunglasses, sandals, and…salad? Don’t worry, there’s a stellar wine pairing that turns this salad into a celebration!

Salads, admittedly, have a reputation for being so healthy that eating them seems like a chore. However, not only is this salad totally mouthwatering, but it pairs beautifully with our  PALO61, Toscana Rosato IGT No. 10. Get ready for a keto-friendly recipe that will keep you coming back for more!

Balsamic watermelon feta salad - SECCO Wine Club

Intro to Wine Pairing

There’s a reason high-end restaurants usually keep an in-house sommelier. This person is a trained wine steward who understands the subtle nuances of each wine and how it should be paired. It’s important to remember, however, that you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy wine or to pair it with food. 

 

If you’re a complete newbie, however, and want a bit of guidance, here are a few tips to get you started.

  • Generally, your wine should be slightly sweeter and more acidic than your meal.
  • Try to select a wine that has the same flavor intensity as your meal.
  • If your wine is bitter, balance it out with fat (cheese, nuts, fatty meats, etc.)
  • If your meal has a flavorful sauce, match the wine to the sauce instead of the meat. 
  • White, sparkling, and rosé wines often create contrasting pairings, meaning they create balance by contrasting tastes and flavors. As an example, think about lime and coconut. The two flavors aren’t similar, but they’re delicious when combined.
  • Conversely, red wines generally create congruent pairings. This means they create balance by emphasizing shared flavors. A good example of this would be a savory steak and mushroom combination.

This is a super simplified break-down, but for the purposes of our wine pairing today it will get us through. 

If you’re interested in really honing your wine pairing skills, definitely check out our Wine Pairing 101 guide to give you all the details. Now, let’s talk about the wine we’ve selected for today!

 

Need to brush up on your Wine Terminology? Click here to use our glossary!

 

Wine Pairing of the Week

For this particular meal, a floral rosé will really balance out the sweet and acidic notes of our recipe. Our Palo61 Toscana Rosato has a medium body with notes of raspberry and rose. It’s made from Sangiovese and Syrah grapes harvested from vineyards in the Pisan Hills of Tuscany. By using the traditional skin contact method, we’ve combined the fragrant scents of white wine and the chic freshness of younger red wines.

PALO61 Rosato -SECCO Wine Club

PALO61, Toscana Rosato IGT No. 10

In general, this bottle pairs beautifully with salads, fish, and light appetizers. For this recipe, however, its tart, sweetness will contrast perfectly with the acid and fat content of our meal. With .38 grams of carbs, .16 grams of sugar, and only 105.9 calories per glass, this wine is best served chilled with a side of rest & relaxation.

Pro Tip: If you prefer congruent pairings, you could also sub out this bottle for our PALO61, Toscana Bianco IGT No. 08. Its balsamic notes will really emphasize the acidity in this recipe. 

 

The SECCO Wine Club Balsamic Watermelon Feta Salad

Watermelon is a summertime staple for some households, and for good reason! It’s crisp, juicy, perfectly sweet, and its high water content actually makes it a tasty way to stay hydrated. If paired with the right flavors, though, you can elevate watermelon to something far more elegant than your average backyard barbeque.

It makes a perfect light lunch, side-dish, or you can even make it in bulk and just go to town at your next dinner party. Just remember that the watermelon can get soggy pretty fast, so it’s best-prepared right before serving to keep the other ingredients crisp and the watermelon cold.

Keto-friendly summer salad

Ingredients

Dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp of red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (+ a bit extra if you’re adding shrimp)

Salad:

  • 1 watermelon, cut into bite-sized chunks (at least a 5lb melon)
  • 6 cups of fresh spinach
  • 1, thinly sliced, red onion
  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup of slivered almonds
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Optional

  • Shrimp 
  • 1 cup of blueberries

 

Steps

  1. Use a small bowl to combine the balsamic and red wine vinegar. Whisk in desired salt and pepper, and then slowly whisk in ¼ cup of olive oil a little bit at a time. Add basil and adjust any other seasonings to taste.
  2. If you want to add protein, now is the time to start grilling your shrimp. Lightly coat a non-stick pan with olive oil, and lightly grill shrimp to desired tenderness. If you like your shrimp a little on the blacker side, cook them longer! (If you’re cooking these on an actual grill, make sure to skewer them so they don’t fall through the grates).
  3. Take a larger bowl and combine the melon, spinach, onion, feta cheese, and optional shrimp and/or blueberries. Gently toss to avoid crushing the watermelon. 
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently again to coat evenly.
  5. Garnish each plate with slivered almonds and extra basil leaves.
  6. Serve immediately with a chilled glass of rosé.
  7. Enjoy!

Balsamic watermelon feta salad

Time to Stock Up on Watermelons!

If you’re thinking that this recipe was way too easy, you’re not wrong. But that doesn’t make it any less delicious! Not all wine pairings have to be tricky and complicated. Sometimes the simplest things are the best. In fact, we’re giving you a bit of homework. Don’t worry, you’ll love it. 😉

For the rest of the summer, it is now your responsibility to take a few moments every day and enjoy your life. Maybe that means enjoying every sip of wine from your glass, maybe it means taking a morning walk, or it could even just be letting yourself sleep in for another fifteen minutes. Just take time to enjoy the simple pleasures of your life, and you’ll be surprised at just how many opportunities present themselves. 

Let us know how this recipe turned out for you in the comments! For a chance to be featured on our Social Media, feel free to tag us in your gram-worthy food pics, and don’t forget to stock up on all your favorite bottles for your next food and wine pairing.