Sesame Crusted Feta: A Delicious Mykonos Salad
With summer just around the corner and watermelon quickly coming into the season, nothing gets me more excited than making my favorite Mykonos salad with sesame crusted feta cheese.
This salad is truly the perfect combination of fresh vibrant summer fruits, delicious vegetables, and herbs. And of course, the amazingly soft and salty bite of pan-fried feta cheese combined with the nuttiness of the roasted sesame seeds.
As the title implies, this sesame crusted feta salad is inspired by my favorite meal in Greece which just so happens to hail from the stunning island of Mykonos.
While eating gyros and fresh calamari is top on my list of delicious foods, on a hot summer day, sometimes a light yet filling Greek salad with feta is simply the perfect meal. And who doesn’t love a salad with feta!
Ingredients for Sesame Crusted Feta Salad
This salad is pretty simple to make, the longest part will be making your sesame crusted feta cheese but even that won’t be a long task.
You will need the following ingredients for your sesame crusted feta salad;
- Greek feta cheese
- All-purpose flour (AP)
- Panko bread crumbs
- White sesame seeds
- Black sesame seeds
- Greek olive oil
- Salad spring mix (try to use a mix that contains Rocket/Arugula, it adds a nice peppery bite which goes well with the watermelon).
- Red onion
- Cherry tomatoes
- Mint leaves
- Fresh ground pepper
Ingredients for the blood orange dressing:
- Ripe blood oranges
- Greek olive oil
How to Prepare Your Pan Fried Feta
- Start by rinsing and drying your feta block. I like to use a couple of paper towels or a clean dishtowel.
- Prep 3-small bowls in a row, the first containing all-purpose flour, the second a whisked egg (until smooth), and the third, panko breadcrumb/sesame mix.
- Cut the now dry feta block into 8 even squares (roughly 1-inch x 1-inch squares).
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F.
- Fully coat your feta squares first in the flour (shake off any excess), then coat in the egg and finally into the panko sesame mixture.
- Add the feta squares to the skillet. Fry each side for 2-3 minutes until you get a nice light-medium golden sear. Tip: Do not let them linger too long on each side as the crust can begin to melt off.
- Transfer the sesame crusted feta squares onto a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
Note: If you only have one type of sesame seed on hand that’s fine. I do however highly recommend using roasted sesame seeds as they have a delicious crunch and nuttier flavor to them.
Mykonos Salad Preparation
- Cut your watermelon into bite-size cubes
- Slice your cherry tomatoes in half
- Thinly slice or chop up your mint leaves
- Thinly slice your red onion
Simple Blood Orange Dressing
Ok to be fair, this is barely a dressing. But my favorite part of the Mykonos salad was how its natural flavors did most of the work, making it a fresh and vibrant salad to enjoy, not weighed in a heavy dressing.
Plus the sesame crusted feta gives out some olive oil from its crust which adds a nice olive taste to the dish.
So my dressing is simply the juice from ripe blood oranges, a little Greek olive oil, and a dash of Kosher salt whisked together (remember you already have the salty feta cheese in the salad).
You can in fact completely omit the olive oil from the dressing and just use the juice and salt if you are looking for a lighter bite.
Alternatively, you can use a lovely blood orange infused olive oil. While they can be a bit pricey, it is always nice to have a fun little collection of infused olive oils for specialty dishes.
Assembling Your Mykonos Salad
In a large salad bowl, combine your spring salad mix, fresh watermelon cubes, cherry tomatoes, sliced red onion, shredded mint, and freshly ground pepper.
Drizzle on the dressing and toss gently, topping the salad with your fried sesame crusted feta squares.
Sesame Crusted Feta Salad Vegan Alternatives
Looking to make this a vegan recipe? Grab yourself some Violife vegan feta cheese. While the Violife vegan feta cheese block is a flat block, it is not quite an inch thick so you may need to pan-fry your sesame crusted feta cheese a little less time, just keep an eye on it.
Dutch is the author of Vanilla Nomad, Monday’s Not Coming, and Let Me Hear a Rhyme. A professional chef by day, and novelist by night. She received her bachelor of arts in film from Kingsborough Community College and her master of cooking from the New School. A Brooklyn native; she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches. Currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking. You can visit her online at https://vanillanomad.com