Sweet watermelon is paired with briny feta, fresh mint and lime juice in this delicious Watermelon Salad that makes the perfect side dish for any summer gathering!
Watermelon was my favorite fruit as a child and continues to be something I look forward to every summer. And while mediocre watermelons are pretty unexciting, a really good watermelon is pure heaven. This Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint is the perfect way to dress it up as a flavorful side dish to serve at any summer gathering.
Speaking of watermelons, I recently learned something I never knew.
Did you know that watermelon is technically a berry? A berry! (There’s something superbly comical about that, don’t you think?)
That got me interested and I started researching the topic further. It turns out that we have most everything backwards.
Check this out from Wikipedia: “The scientific usage of the term “berry” differs from common usage. In scientific terminology, a berry is a fruit produced from the ovary of a single flower in which the outer layer of the ovary wall develops into an edible fleshy portion (pericarp). The definition includes many fruits that are not commonly known as berries, such as grapes, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants (aubergines), pumpkins and bananas. Fruits excluded by the botanical definition include strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, which are aggregate fruits.”
Mind-boggling, isn’t it?
So basically, berries aren’t really berries and practically everything else is. (Gross generalization, but how fun is that!)
So here is something delicious featuring this 20-pound “berry.” It’s a salad pairing three other flavors that make a marvelous match: Along with the sweet watermelon we have salty/briny feta, fresh mint and lime juice. These ingredients really make the flavor of the watermelon shine through.
I made this salad for the first time the year before last at the end of a record cold winter. It was a record cold since 1964 and record rain in ALL HISTORY of Washington State! (That’s all history, folks.) Washingtonians were walking around in galoshes up to their knees exhibiting erratic behavior and strange motor tics.
Okay, not really. But what IS for certain is that by the time that record cold and rainy winter was over most Washingtonians would have definitely benefitted from some sweet and sunny watermelon to help transition them back to sanity. And so that’s what I did: I bought a large watermelon, whipped up this delicious watermelon salad and savored every bite with a big grin on my face. This salad is now a regular part of our summer salad rotation. We think you’ll enjoy it as much as we do!
Let’s get started!
Keep the diced watermelon in the fridge until you’re ready to add the dressing.
In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice and olive oil with the salt and pepper. Note: You can use lemon juice instead. They’re both excellent, you can decide which flavor combo you prefer.
Chop up the mint.
Pour the dressing over the chilled watermelon along with the mint and gently toss to combine.
Sprinkle the feta cheese over the salad and serve immediately.
This salad is best prepared just before serving.
Watermelon Salad with Mint and Feta
- 1 small watermelon (3 pounds), rind removed, cut into 1-inch chunks and chilled
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice or lemon juice (both are excellent, see which one you prefer)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Small pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese (sheep feta recommended for the creamiest texture and best flavor contrast)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the chilled diced watermelon along with the mint. Toss gently to combine. Sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese on top and serve immediately.
- *THIS SALAD IS BEST PREPARED JUST BEFORE SERVING