Feta watermelon salad with mint and cucumbers is a refreshing summer dish perfect for hot, lazy afternoons when you have a craving for something light and satisfying.
Looking for a refreshing summer treat that's easy to make and packed full of flavor?
If so, this watermelon salad with feta and mint is the perfect dish for you.
This tasty salad is perfect for picnics, BBQ's, or just as a light snack to enjoy on a hot summer day.
Imagine biting into sweet, juicy watermelon combined with the tangy saltiness of feta cheese, and a burst of fresh mint. This combination creates the perfect balance of sweet and savory.
Not only is this salad incredibly delicious, but it's also simple to prepare, requiring just a few ingredients and minimal effort.
So, get ready to fall in love with this delicious summer salad you can easily whip it up in your kitchen.
The refreshing aroma and flavors of watermelon, feta, and mint are sure to make this your new favorite summer dish!
You might be wondering what makes this watermelon salad with feta and mint a must-try. Here are some reasons we love this salad so much:
We love the combination of flavors. The sweet and juicy watermelon works wonderfully with the salty and tangy feta cheese. And the fresh mint gives the dish an extra burst of coolness, making it even more refreshing.
We also love how easy this salad is to prepare. There's no need to spend hours in the kitchen. In just a few simple steps, you can have this delicious and satisfying salad on your table.
I love using ingredients in season. This makes a perfect way to use up mint, basil or watermelon or to just eat something incredibly fresh while watermelon is in season.
I'm always trying to find more ways to get fruits and veggies into my kids (plus my husband and myself). This watermelon salad is a healthy option that gets herbs, cucumbers and watermelon in your that tastes delicious.
Last but not least, this watermelon salad with feta and mint is a versatile dish that can be served at various occasions. You can serve it as a side dish at a summer barbecue, bring it to a picnic, or include it in your lunchbox for a refreshing and satisfying meal at work.
Ingredients for Feta Watermelon Salad
Watermelon: This is the star ingredient of the salad, providing a sweet, refreshing base. Watermelon is primarily composed of water, making it hydrating and cooling, ideal for a summer salad. When selecting a watermelon, look for one that feels heavy for its size and has a uniform shape. It should have a deep, hollow sound when you tap it.
English cucumber: Cucumbers add a nice crunch to the salad and their cool, slightly sweet flavor complements the watermelon. English cucumbers are often used because they have fewer seeds and a thinner skin than regular cucumbers. They don't need to be peeled, which saves time and keeps the vibrant green color in the salad.
Feta cheese: The feta brings a tangy, briny flavor that contrasts beautifully with the sweetness of the watermelon and cucumber. Feta also adds a creamy texture that balances the crunch of the other ingredients. There's a wide variety of feta cheeses out there, but for this salad, a block of Greek feta cheese crumbled by hand would be ideal for its superior flavor and texture.
Red onion: Red onions are milder and sweeter than yellow or white onions, making them a good choice for raw applications like this salad. The thinly sliced onion adds a bit of sharpness and crunch, as well as a splash of color.
Basil leaves: Fresh basil adds a touch of aromatic sweetness and a hint of anise and peppery flavor. It provides a fresh, herbal contrast to the sweet and salty components of the salad.
Mint: Another fresh herb, mint brings a cool, refreshing touch to the salad. Its sweet flavor profile matches well with watermelon, and it adds another layer of complexity to the salad.
Salad Dressing Ingredients
Seasonings: Salt helps to bring out the flavors of the other ingredients, while black pepper adds a slight kick. Adjust these to taste.
Olive oil: This is used to create the base of the dressing. Olive oil adds a rich, fruity flavor that ties the salad together. A good quality extra virgin olive oil is ideal for dressings because of its superior flavor.
Lime juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice gives the dressing a tangy, vibrant flavor that brightens up the whole salad. Lime and watermelon are a classic pairing, and the acidity of the lime helps to balance the sweetness of the watermelon.
Garlic: A small amount of minced garlic in the dressing adds a bit of heat and depth of flavor. Garlic can be quite strong, so it's used sparingly. If you're not a fan of raw garlic, you can omit this or substitute it with a pinch of garlic powder.
How to Make Watermelon Salad with Feta Cheese
Begin by preparing your salad ingredients. Combine the watermelon, cucumber, crumbled feta, sliced red onion, chopped basil, and mint in a large bowl. Toss them together gently to distribute all the ingredients evenly, creating a vibrant blend of colors and textures.
While your salad ingredients are melding together, turn your attention to the dressing. Choose either a jar with a tight-fitting lid or a bowl. Into this, pour your olive oil, freshly squeezed lime juice, a pinch of minced garlic, and seasonings to taste. If you're using a jar, secure the lid and shake vigorously until everything is well combined. If you prefer a bowl, use a whisk to mix everything together until you achieve a smooth, well-emulsified dressing.
Once your dressing is prepared, hold off on the next step until you're ready to serve. This will make sure your salad remains crisp and refreshing. When it's time to eat, drizzle your prepared dressing over the salad. Toss everything together one more time to make sure each bite is coated in the tangy, vibrant dressing. With everything perfectly combined, your feta watermelon salad is ready to serve. Enjoy this refreshing dish that's perfect for any warm weather gathering.
Tips for Making the Best Watermelon Salad with Feta
It's hard to go wrong with this recipe, but here are some tips and tricks to make sure your salad is the best it can be:
- Choose a Juicy Watermelon: Make sure you start with a juicy watermelon. Make your selection by giving the watermelon a quick pat – you're looking for a solid, deep sound, which usually indicates that it is ripe and full of water. Buying from a farmer's market can often give you the freshest and most flavorful options and I've found in the past that the farmers are more than happy to help you find the best watermelon.
- Even Sized Pieces: When cutting up your watermelon, cucumber, and red onion, try to make the pieces the same size for a balanced bite
- Pre-cut: If you are short on time, you can purchase pre-cut watermelon and cucumber. Just make sure that they are fresh and haven't been sitting out too long.
- Make ahead: Another way to cut down on time when making this salad is to make the dressing ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you are ready to use.
Other Salads You'll Love
Leftover watermelon feta salad can be stored in the refrigerator, but it should be consumed as soon as possible as the watermelon and cucumber can release water and make the salad soggy over time.
It's also important to note that fresh herbs can wilt and lose their vibrancy when refrigerated for too long.
To store leftovers, place the salad in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a day. If you've already mixed in the dressing, it's best to eat the salad within the same day.
However, if you anticipate having leftovers, a good strategy is to keep the dressing separate from the salad ingredients. This way, you can add the dressing to individual portions as needed.
The undressed salad ingredients will keep better and for a bit longer - up to two days.
Ideas for Eating Leftovers
For a quick snack, you can serve the leftover salad on top of some toasted bread, turning it into a refreshing bruschetta.
Or you can add it to a bed of mixed greens for a larger salad.
If you have leftover dressing, it can be used on any other salad or as a marinade for chicken or fish.
Remember, it's always best to enjoy this type of fresh salad at its peak, so try to only prepare as much as you can consume at one time.
If you are wanting to make this salad, but mix it up some, here are some ideas:
- Cheese: you can change out the feta cheese for cubed or shredded mozzarella for a milder flavor or try bleu cheese for a stronger flavor. Goat cheese is another good option that is creamy and slightly tart compared to the watermelon.
- Fruit: you could also change out the fruit or add in more. Some options are ripe strawberries, blueberries, or peaches for added sweetness and complexity. Slices of oranges or grapefruit could also be added for tanginess.
- Nuts or Seeds: For some added crunch, consider adding toasted nuts or seeds. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, or sunflower seeds would all work well. If you're using nuts, try toasting them lightly to bring out their flavor.
- Different Herbs: While mint is a classic pairing with watermelon, other herbs can work well too. Try cilantro for a refreshing twist, or basil for an Italian touch.
- Spice it Up: For a little heat, sprinkle some chili flakes over the salad or add a diced jalapeño.
- Add Grains: For a more filling salad, consider adding some cooked quinoa, farro, or couscous.
- Protein Boost: Grilled chicken, shrimp, or even some thinly sliced prosciutto can turn this salad into a complete meal.
- Vegan Version: If you're vegan or dairy-free, you can omit the feta cheese or replace it with a vegan feta cheese or some diced avocado for creaminess.
Other Sides You'll Love
Feta Watermelon Salad
- 3 cups seedless watermelon cubed
- 1 cup English cucumber halved and sliced
- 1 cup feta cheese crumbled
- ½ cup red onion halved and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint chopped
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lime juice freshly squeezed
- ¼ teaspoon garlic minced
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, toss together the ingredients for the salad.
- In a jar or bowl, shake or whisk the ingredients for the dressing.
- Just prior to serving, pour the dressing over the salad. Toss and serve.
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