Watermelon Feta Mint Salad is a refreshing summer salad bursting with fresh flavours and textures. It’s delicious as a barbecue side salad or main dish salad.
Summer fruit salads make the most of seasonal fruit at their prime. I love combining sweet and spicy flavours or using fun techniques such as grilling or smoking. Check out this Spicy Sweet Cantaloupe Salad for a unique cantaloupe flavour bomb or my favourite Grilled Peach Fruit Salad with Buratta for a real flavour treat.
Watermelon Feta Mint Salad
No matter which way you slice it, watermelon feta and mint salad is summer in a bowl. This ruby red fruit is sweet and refreshing all on its own. However, adding it to a savoury salad creates an entirely new watermelon experience.
If you eat a piece of watermelon, the first flavour you taste is sweet followed by a very subtle, almost imperceptible bitterness. It is this bitterness that pairs so well with savoury ingredients like feta cheese and arugula.
The salt in the feta also brings out the sweetness of the melon and blueberries while the mint re-establishes the freshness. One mouthful of this watermelon salad with feta contains all these flavours into one and leaves you wanting another spoon full.
This perfect summer salad is great as a side dish for any barbecued meat, or as a brunch style salad. Add your own protein to it and serve it as a very satisfying ‘no cook’ summer salad main dish.
Without a doubt, watermelon is the most refreshing summer fruit…it’s in the name! Its sweet yet subtle flavour pairs well with a variety of fruits, vegetables, cheese, and herbs. Eat watermelon on its own, enjoy it in a cocktail, or use it in savoury applications such as this salad.
Did you know that the amount of water in watermelon is about 92%? This fruit is low in calories and contains fibre as well as being a good source of vitamin A & C, beta carotene, and lycopene.
Though we mostly recognize watermelon as a fruit, botanically it is a flowering plant of the Curcurbitacae species which bears edible fruit. It’s actually a berry (called a pepo) because it has a thick rind and no internal segments. Other members of this family include cucumbers and squashes (including pumpkin).
Salad Ingredients and Substitutions
You know that I always say ‘fresh is best’. It’s pretty difficult to make a bad salad out of fresh ingredients. That said, this salad is also best when eaten fresh. It doesn’t keep very well overnight in fridge. It’s the type of salad recipe that you make and eat on the same day.
- Feta Cheese
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- White Vinegar
Buy seeded or seedless watermelon. If you can find it, I always prefer seeded watermelon as it tends to have the most flavour. Though it is the main ingredient in this salad recipe, you can substitute strawberries or cantaloupe in this salad if you prefer.
If you use strawberries, try swapping basil instead of the fresh mint and fresh mozzarella (bocconcini) for the cubed or crumbled Feta Cheese. A nice dressing of balsamic vinegar simmered (and cooled) with honey would be absolutely delicious in this variation.
Other substitutes that work well are lemons for the limes, red wine vinegar for the white vinegar, and radicchio for the arugula.
How to Choose the Perfect Watermelon
On first glance all watermelon look the same. Picking one can be daunting, especially when they are all together in a giant pile. However, if you know a few tips and tricks, you can successfully pick out a tasty watermelon every time.
- Buy watermelon in season and you’re more likely to find a tasty one.
- Lift the watermelon and compare it to others. If it is heavy for its size that means it is juicy and full.
- The stem end should be dry and brown or yellow. This signifies the melon was picked at peak ripeness.
- Look for a creamy yellow to almost orange area (also called the field spot) on one side of the melon. This is where the melon was resting on the ground. A darker colour means it rested there longer.
- Knock on it. If it sounds hollow and deep, then it is good. Do not choose it if it has a higher hollow sound.
- Choose dull watermelons with a distinctive deep dark green and light yellow colour pattern. Shiny melons or those with a light colour pattern have not had time to ripen.
- Check the overall size and rind condition. Rounder melons tend to be tastier, but not always. Make sure there are no cracks or bruises. Grey or tan coloured irregularities with a web-like pattern are the exception. These scars were formed when the blossom was pollinated and a high number of scars means the bees did their job well!
How to Make Watermelon Feta Mint Salad
Arrange the watermelon cubes, blueberries, arugula, and cucumber in a large bowl or serving platter. Place the vinaigrette dressing ingredients (olive oil, vinegar, garlic, mint, lime juice, sea salt, and black pepper) in a jar or other container with a lid and shake vigorously.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to dress. Crumble feta cheese over all. Alternatively, serve the dressing on the side.
Other ingredients that would go well in this salad are strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, red onion, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, or burrata. Dress it up with proteins such as white beans, chickpeas and prosciutto.
For an impressive backyard barbecue table centerpiece, arrange the salad on a low curved platter or large bowl. Start with the arugula, then arrange the other ingredients before you add the vinaigrette.
Alternatively, you can make this watermelon feta mint salad in a large bowl, dress it, then serve it in individual bowls or cups (as shown). This is a great serving suggestion for potlucks or picnic style gatherings.
Finally, for the ultimate serving suggestion, thread the ingredients onto wooden skewers and serve the dressing on the side for dipping.
If you make this Watermelon Feta Mint Salad with Arugula, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.
- 4 cups fresh watermelon; cubed
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 8 oz feta cheese; cubed or crumbled
- 1 cup cucumber; diced
- 8 cups baby arugula
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 limes; juiced
- 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
- 4 Tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon garlic; minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 Tablespoons fresh mint; chopped
- Arrange the watermelon, blueberries, arugula, and cucumber in a large bowl or serving platter.
- Place the vinaigrette dressing ingredients in a jar or other container with a lid and shake vigorously.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to dress. Scatter crumbled feta over the salad and serve. Alternatively, serve the dressing on the side.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 408Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 281mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 4gSugar: 33gProtein: 3g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.