If you add only one new salad to your repertoire this summer, make it this watermelon feta salad with lime honey dressing! I’ve been wanting to make this for years. I don’t really understand what was holding me back, because it’s quick and easy to put together and oh so delicious to eat! It uses one of my favourite flavour combinations: watermelon and lime. And mint — can’t forget the mint!
At first glance, this might appear to be a Greek salad, but don’t be fooled (like some I know) — that vibrant red is definitely not tomato!
Watermelon Feta Salad with Lime Honey Dressing
Those are sweet and juicy chunks of watermelon, complemented by cubes of salty, rich feta cheese that give the dish some real substance. Red onion adds a little bite, and fresh mint brings a punch of minty, herbaceous freshness. For some extra green crunch, and frankly just to squeeze in a vegetable, some diced cucumber does the trick while staying in the background. The whole dish is brought together with a dressing of lime juice and olive oil.
Such classic flavour combinations. And that colour! I could look at it all day long — okay, not really, I’d rather eat it.
I first made this on a beach vacation at Lake Huron, and was pleased to find a nicely-patterned black and white serving bowl in the rental cottage. Doesn’t the watermelon feta salad look fabulous in it? I’d like to piously report that I left the bowl in the cupboard where it belongs, instead of smuggling it home with me like a hotel bathrobe (and not just because my landlords read the blog — hi guys!). When I got home I made it again, and quite enjoyed another round of recipe testing.
When sultry summer weather’s at its peak and barbecue season’s in full swing, just imagine the reactions you’ll get when you bring a big bowl of this salad to the table following a platter of barbecued ribs. What a fresh counterpoint to the meaty richness of the ribs. And as the photos with the dainty china bowl and silver serving spoon prove, this watermelon feta salad is as at home on a beautifully set dining table as it is on a picnic table.
Casual or elegant, I’m not sure there’s a more refreshing salad out there.
This salad is quick and easy to put together, and very versatile. The watermelon, feta, mint and lime juice are essential, in my humble opinion. As for the other ingredients, well that's up to you … leave them out or switch them out. After all, when you make it, it's your salad!
- about a 2-lb wedge of watermelon (weighed with the rind on)
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 2 inches English cucumber (optional), diced
- 100 g feta cheese, cubed
- 12 leaves mint, rolled and sliced into fine ribbons (chiffonade)
- 1-1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (about half of a fat and happy lime)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (this is the time to use the good stuff!)
- 1 tsp honey
- a few grindings of black pepper
- pinch of salt
Slice the watermelon into wedges, then 1-inch slices and carefully carve the flesh from the rind. Then slice it into large cubes (about an inch wide) and place them in a large bowl. Add the cucumber, onion, cheese and mint.
Put the lime juice, olive oil, honey, pepper and salt in a small bowl and whisk briskly with a fork until it all comes together. Pour over the salad and toss gently.
Serve right away, or cover and refrigerate for no more than a few hours so the watermelon’s at its peak of freshness.
And bonus points to any eagle-eyed readers who noticed that I forgot to put the onion in the second salad that I made. Oops! It was still good, but I do like having it in there.
Looking for More Watermelon Ideas?
There’s nothing like sitting on the back step, eating a slice of watermelon and seeing how far you can shoot the seeds into the lawn. But if something a little more polished is what you’re looking for, here are some options. Let’s start with a bit of a mind-bending beverage for young and old alike: it might be orange, but it’s Orange Watermelon Lemonade (made with orange watermelon!). For the adults, how about Watermelon Vodka Splash cocktail? And Thai-Inspired Chilled Watermelon Soup has always gone over well at my table and I think you’ll enjoy it too.
Looking for another refreshing beverage idea? Check out my friend Cathy’s Watermelon Slushie on her blog Cathy’s Gluten Free.
First Published 2017 06 27
Republished 2020 08 20