Growing up in SoCal where the sun shines year-round, biting into a giant smiley wedge of watermelon really made summertime something special. While my carefree days of watermelon juice dripping from my chin might be behind me, I still get that watermelon face smile every time I make this simple, easy, classy salad.
One 16-ounce bottle or 2 cups balsamic vinegar
1 baby seedless watermelon or 1/2 of a small seedless watermelon or 4 cups seeded watermelon chunks
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, stacked, rolled, and thinly sliced crosswise into ribbons
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 2 ounces)
Heat the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it comes to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the balsamic is reduced to about 3/4 cup and has the consistency of maple syrup, about 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
If using uncut watermelon then halve it and place the halves or half cut side down on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to trim away the rind, cutting from top to bottom. Cut the melon into 1/4-inch thick slices.
Divide the watermelon among 4 plates. Sprinkle with basil and then drizzle some of the balsamic reduction over each plate. Top with the crumbled feta and serve.