When I was a kid, I spent every waking and sleeping moment of my summers with my best friend, Erin. The convenient part about our friendship was that she lived 2 doors down on my quiet cul-de-sac. Her dad was raising 2 daughters and my mom was raising two daughters within 100 yards of one another, inevitably making us one group of traveling girls. One night at one house and the next at the other. My mom was always known for the home cooked meals and her dad was known for a good Tostito pizza. We had the best of both worlds. My favorite was when we spent school nights over at Erin’s house. Her dad would pack us peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, but his peanut butter sandwiches were always the best because he put sugar in the middle. What 5th grader doesn’t love extra sugar? He was the best neighbor dad.
I remember as clear as day the summer afternoon Erin’s dad taught us to eat watermelon with salt. Yes, watermelon with salt. We were sitting on the front steps of Erin’s house and her dad brought us watermelon. He then told us we should put salt on it to make it taste better. Both of us instantly went, “eeewwww!” Why in the world would you put salt on your fruit, that would be just silly. This was still the point in life where my mom could not get us to eat strawberries with out loading them with sugar first. Salt shaker in hand Erin’s dad ate his watermelon sprinkling each piece as he went. After a few bites we both thought we would be brave and try it out too. Staring each other down, daring the other to try it first, we tested out this so called watermelon with salt.
Who know watermelon could taste sweeter with salt added? Watermelon was never the same for me again. I always need the salt shaker. I need the salt shaker with most meals, but with watermelon always.
This all leads me to my recent love. Watermelon Feta Salad.
You actually put SALT & PEPPER on your watermelon for this recipe. Who would have thought that would be good.
When I stumbled upon a few watermelon salad recipes this summer, I knew something had to be there. And out came this recipe. I am OBSESSED! I might have made this one a few too many times lately, but it is always so good. Also, i have been making it by request for a few events too. It is quite addicting. Salty, peppery, crunchy, sweet and sharp, all kinds of flavors happening in this easy salad. It has been my go-to salad for the last 3 BBQs I have attended, and it will be going to The Boy’s work potluck next week too. Nothing like an easy fresh summer salad.
Easy is really the name of the game with this one. Chopping all the ingredients might be the most labor intensive part of the whole process.
To get started making your own salad, you will need a seedless watermelon. I used a whole medium sized watermelon. If you are buying one from Cosco, they are larger, so you probably only will need 1/2 to 3/4 of a watermelon. Any regular size watermelon from your local grocery store will do perfectly otherwise. I think you all know what I am talking about here, everything seems to just be larger at Cosco.
After peeling the watermelon, you will want to chop it into small bite size pieces. Normally I would never cut my watermelon this small, but it works best for this salad.
Once your watermelon, onion, arugula and mint are chopped you can throw them all in a large mixing bowl, or a large piece of tupperware. You will want something extra large for mixing. You can transfer the salad to something better for serving once you are done mixing. This is also the point, I squeezed my lemons over the top, ensuring no seeds fell in, and salt and pepper the heck out of the salad.
Last I added in the cheese. I save this to stir in last because you don’t want to over stir the cheese. Once the cheese starts to mix with the watermelon/lemon juice it will break down and get mushy if over stirred. You want the cheese to be mixed in but not too mixed into the juice. Save some cheese to garnish the top of the salad when serving.
Doesn’t that bowl look like something you want to just dig right into?
I however had to wait on this particular bowl of watermelon until we arrived at my friends BBQ. Like I said this bad boy has made an appearance at several BBQs lately, and has been a huge success.
What is your favorite recipe to bring to a BBQ or Potluck?
Watermelon Feta Summer Salad
yields potluck size salad or 20 servings.
- 8-10 cups watermelon, chopped into bite size pieces (I use a whole seedless watermelon)
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 2 lemons
- 5 oz package arugula, chopped
- 1 1/2 cup Feta cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
- Salt (roughly 1 tablespoon)
- Fresh cracked pepper (roughly 1 tablespoon)
- In an extra large bowl or tupperware container, add chopped watermelon and onion.
- Stir in chopped arugula and mint.
- Cut lemons in half and squeeze juice over watermelon then stir.
- Generously sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked pepper, stir, then add more salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle in 1 cup feta cheese and stir lightly.
- Transfer salad to serving bowl, top with remaining cheese and black pepper. Serve immediately.
- TIP: You can cut all ingredients ahead of time and combine once ready to serve. If pre-cutting, make sure you drain the watermelon before adding the other ingredients. Do no mix up the salad more than 2 hours before serving , the arugula will wilt.