For the longest time, I had never thought about doing anything with watermelon except eating it straight. I mean, it is delicious so why would I need to do anything with it. But eventually, my eyes were opened to other possibilities. One delicious possibility is this watermelon feta mint salad with a watermelon dressing.
Watermelon conjures up images of summer, barbecues, and get-togethers. So this salad takes that to heart and is a simple, refreshing mix of summer flavors to brighten up any spread. This is a light and easy salad. Chop up the watermelon, blend and cook a little of it, mix up the dressing, and toss all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix. It is easily scalable as well.
A lot of the time balsamic vinegar is paired with watermelon because it cuts through the sweetness. But I wanted to really focus on watermelon flavors. So, I attempted a few times to make a watermelon dressing that would really pair with the feta, mint, basil, and red onion. I finally got to a dressing that I like and I hope you enjoy it as well.
It’s finally feeling like summer. Pair this salad with steak kabobs or shrimp kabobs for a full summer meal. Watermelon is so delicious I think that I’ll have to feature a watermelon-focused drink here shortly as well…
Best Practices for Watermelon Feta Mint Salad
Cube your watermelon first and put it in the fridge. There’s something about cold watermelon that gives it some extra oomph of flavor. Trust me. If you have never done this before, then you have been missing out and it is now time to make the change. And not just for this watermelon feta mint salad either, always try to cube and chill your watermelon before eating.
Also, when you’re cutting the watermelon, you can use a dedicated watermelon slicer to help make quicker work of the fruit. It is not necessary and can be cut by hand. I have kind of mixed feelings about these watermelon slicers. They make cutting really easy. But they tend not to last very long. I think the last one we got lasted for like 2 years. But we did go through a whole lot of watermelon.
You will need something to shake together the salad dressing. Do this with anything that has a lid like storage containers or blender cups. A dedicated salad dressing shaker can also be helpful for storing in the fridge and with making other salads.
Always with Options
Customization is always an option. Never let any other recipe tell you otherwise. For the watermelon feta mint salad, try adding cucumber to the mix for another punch of fresh flavor. Like things a little spicy at times? Then sprinkle a teaspoon of ground chipotle, ancho, or other chili powder over the whole salad. Try substituting the feta cheese out for a different one like goat cheese.
Think about the different summer flavors and try to come up with something else that you want to pair with the watermelon.
To add more depth of flavor to this recipe, try grilling your watermelon before cubing it. The best method that I have found for this one is slicing the watermelon into 1 to 2-inch thick rounds and tossing those directly on a grill at medium heat. Give it a bit of a char on both sides, 3 minutes each, and then remove it from the heat. Cut it up and toss the salad as directed below.
And like I said at the start, you can also forgo making the homemade dressing for this and instead use a balsamic vinegar glaze as a drizzle on top of the salad. Just add 2 cups of balsamic vinegar to a small pot and cook for 20 minutes or so until thick.
So enjoy all of the flavors of summer in this delicious salad however you prefer it.
Watermelon Feta Mint Salad with Watermelon DressingCourse: Appetizers, Salads, SidesDifficulty: Intermediate
Welcome summer to the table with this watermelon feta mint salad that is light, fresh, bright and everything summer should be.
1 large watermelon
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
10 large mint leaves
8 large basil leaves
1 large red onion
2 cups crumbled feta cheese
- Cut and cube the watermelon into 1 to 2-inch pieces, then place all but 3 to 4 cups into the fridge
- Blend the 3-4 cups of cubed watermelon in a blender on high to get 2 cups of watermelon juice
- Combine the 2 cups watermelon juice with 2 tablespoons honey in a small pot over medium-low heat
- Let it simmer while stirring occasionally until it has reduced to between 1/2 and 1/3 of its original volume, about 40 to 50 minutes
- While that is simmering, chiffonade (thinly slice) the mint and basil leaves, chop the red onion, and store them in the fridge for later
- In a container with a lid (preferably a salad dressing shaker), combine the reduced watermelon and honey, olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper and shake thoroughly
- Remove the remaining watermelon from the fridge and add it to a large bowl
- Add the sliced mint and basil, chopped onion, and crumbled feta to the bowl with the watermelon
- Toss together the salad, serve into individual bowls, and then top it with the watermelon dressing