Amazingly fresh, this mix of watermelon, feta cheese, mint and lemon zest strange, but is surprisingly delicious and perfect for summer, a firm favorite at our summer BBQ. A bit out of the ordinary, but I am confident you will love this salad, quick and easy to prepare. Summer time is salad time. There are some nice variations of this watermelon and feta salad that are also very popular, try watermelon, feta and cucumber salad add some red onion or spice things up with some jalapenos.
How to Make Watermelon and Feta Salad
This is a super easy, interesting, fresh summer salad that can be made in ten minutes. Chop a watermelon into cubes. Cut some lemon zest. Crumble the feta cheese. Mix the watermelon cubes, lemon zest, fresh mint leaves and crumbled feta cheese into a beautiful, fresh salad. Season the salad with black pepper, salt and drizzle with a olive oil and lemon juice dressing. Watermelon is a delicious summer fruit that has its origins in my home country, South Africa. We played around a lot with watermelon recipes in South Africa!
Want to try a more classic summer salad that is low carb? don’t miss our tomato, feta and basil salad. I could not believe this tasty and simple salad has only 3 ingredients!
Serving Size for this recipe
The portion size for this recipe is a healthy portion of watermelon salad as a side dish as can be seen from the image. The salad was prepared as per recipe to serve 4 without scaling.
Ingredients to make Watermelon and Feta Salad
Watermelon – Ripe seedless watermelon to make this salad. Chill in the fridge.
Feta Cheese – great texture in the salad, fantastic combination with the watermelon.
Mint Leaves – Important component! Pick fresh mint leaves. Break larger leaves into smaller pieces. Can substitute mint with basil.
Salt and Pepper – contrast with the sweet watermelon is a winning combination.
Lemon Zest – add some sunshine to this unique recipe, if you don’t have time works well without this.
Olive Oil, Lemon Juice dressing
Tips for Making a Watermelon and Feta Salad
This is a quick and simple, but striking and delicious salad. To make the best version of the watermelon and feta salad, use a ripe, sweet watermelon, good quality feta cheese and quality, fresh ingredients. The hardest part is cutting the watermelon, so we have got you covered there with an easy technique to cut watermelon into cubes.
How to Cut a Watermelon
The best way to cut a watermelon into cubes is to peel the watermelon, cut the flesh first into slices then into cubes as follows. See our detailed step by step guide How to Cut a Watermelon with pictures.
- Wash the outside of the watermelon and dry with paper towels
- Cut the watermelon in half.
- Slice of the top ends of each half.
- Peel by following the shape of the melon cutting from the top downwards, continue cutting until all the rind has been removed.
- You should be left with two big peeled pieces of watermelon.
- Cut each into circular slices of about 1 inch (2cm)
- Cut each slice first into strips and the strips then into cubes.
How to Make Lemon Zest
Lemon zest is the chopped up flavedo (flavor) of lemon or other citrus fruit. The flavedo is the outermost layer of the lemon excluding the underlying bitter, white, fleshy pith only the shiny part. When you zest a fruit you remove only the flavedo, this can be done in several ways; using a box grater, a pairing knife, a special zester, a microplane or a vegetable peeler.
Making Lemon Zest with a Vegetable Peeler
First remove the wax layer covering the fruit by washing it with a brush in boiling water. Now remove strips of flavedo. Begin at the top of the fruit, cut into the skin just underneath the outer flavedo, carefully remove the peel in strips downwards, you can cut in a spiral around the lemon.
Chop up the strips into lemon zest
Choosing a Ripe Watermelon
- Watermelon season – the best time to find a sweet, ripe watermelon is in summer when the fruit is in season.
- Knock on it – knock on the melon and listen to the sound it makes. A deep hollow sounds indicates more water and the fruit is likely riper. If there is a more dense sound when knocking the melon probably has a thick and is not fully ripe.
- Check the field spot – find the spot where the watermelon sat on the ground as it ripened, this is called the field spot and should be creamy yellow.
Choose the Best Feta
- Real feta is made from sheeps milk (maybe a little goat milk), not cow milk (this will be called feta-like cheese).
- Feta cheese should be white not yellowish.
- The best feta is made in Greece.
- Top quality feta is stored in brine.
Use Fresh Ingredients
Squeeze fresh lemon juice, use extra virgin olive oil, cut fresh mint.
Nutritional data was calculated with an online tool and you can verify it using your preferred nutrition calculator.
- Add some red onion to the salad.
- Change the Cheese – Feta cheese can be substituted with mozzarella or goats cheese.
- Watermelon, feta and cucumber salad – cucumber is another fresh summer ingredient that can be added. Just cut a medium sized cucumber into thin half slices and add to the salad mix.
- Make it spicy – add 1 or 2 jalapeño chiles (according to taste), halved, seeded, and sliced.
- Use balsamic vinegar or a balsamic glaze instead of the simple olive oil/lemon juice salad dressing.
Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad
- 1000 grams Watermelon (7 cups of cubes/2lb)
- 100 grams Feta Cheese
- 10 grams Mint leaves (1/3 cup)
- 1 dash Black pepper
- 6 gram Lemon Zest (1 tbsp)
- 3 tbsp Olive oil (45 ml)
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice (15 ml)
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- Rinse the watermelon and cut it in half. Cut off the rind and chop the flesh into 1-inch cubes, be careful not to cut the cubes too small. Chill in the fridge.
- Crumble the feta.
- Zest a lemon
- Toss the watermelon, fresh mint leaves, lemon zest and crumbled feta into a colorful, fresh salad.
- Season with black pepper
- Mix olive oil, lemon juice and salt drizzle the simple lemon dressing over the salad
How Healthy is Watermelon and Feta Salad?
Watermelon – the perception that sweet watermelon is unhealthy is wrong. With a 92% water content it is actually low in calories. The sugar is fructose with a low glycemic load so in moderation it is even OK for diabetics (always confirm with your certified health practitioner). Watermelon is high in vitamins A and C and it contains some fibre.
Feta Cheese – contains less calories and more calcium than most cheeses, so it is good for your bones and diet friendly. Rich in B vitamins, Riboflavin, Zinc, Selenium and Phosphorus. Feta is very salty with a high sodium content, the high water content of watermelon does help to balance this, but reduce the feta if you have a problem with sodium.
Mint – Low in calories, good source of vitamin A and anti-oxidants
Where I am from in South Africa watermelon is very popular in summer, it gets very hot and tasting it always takes me back to fun times eating watermelon next to the pool.
This delicious summer fruit is more than 90% water making it naturally low fat, packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, the main component of this salad is delicious and healthy. This is a bit of a strange mix, so you might see some frowns if you bring this to a barbeque. Marista is an awesome cook and always brings something delicious and interesting to our weekly bbq. This amazing sweet and savory combination turned me into a huge fan from the first bite.
What did you think of this Salad ?
Did you like this recipe? Please let us know, any comments or suggestions would be appreciated!
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