A Summer Classic: Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad

Watermelon is this summer’s sweetheart. Recipes abound for refreshing watermelon-basil cocktails, slushy watermelon granitas and even grilled watermelon for dessert. So when Bryan and I made dinner for our friends as a housewarming gift, I knew a watermelon salad was the way to go. I mean, so were hamburgers, an arugula fennel salad with shaved Parmesan as well as a prosciutto-wrapped fig appetizer, but the watermelon salad – made with juicy chunks of watermelon, crumbled feta cheese, salty Kalamata olives and tons of fragrant, fresh mint – was something special. I made it solely with seedless pink watermelon, but so many Farmers markets are carrying organic yellow watermelon. A combination of the two would be both stunning and delicious, and next time I’ll definitely make it that way. Of course, when the yellow watermelon isn’t available, the traditional pink is just as wonderful. Here’s the recipe.

Watermelon Salad with Feta & Mint
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 seedless watermelon, scooped with a melon baller or chopped into bite-size pieces, chilled
  • 2 cups feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 1/4 cups pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced into a 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves
In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, Sriracha and pepper. Add the watermelon, feta, olives and onion and toss very gently, avoiding breaking up the watermelon pieces. Serve immediately or place in refrigerator until ready to serve. This is best made no more than a few hours before you plan on serving, or else too much of the watermelon juice will leak out into the salad. You want all the pieces and flavors to meld together, but not become a juicy mess.