The surprising combination of watermelon, feta, and arugula makes a salad that hits all the right notes of sweet, savory, and fresh. Serve this Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad with your favorite salad dressing and it is sure to become a summer staple.
The fruit my kids will dependably choose over all others is watermelon. My six-year-olds love it so much that they requested watermelon for their birthday dinner this year. In mid-April! It was decidedly not watermelon season, but Whole Foods had a pretty good one that we devoured in on meal. But now that the weather is heating up, I'm buying watermelon almost weekly and they keep getting better.
While my kids are happy just to eat watermelon wedges all on their own, by day 3, I need to mix things up. And this salad is a great way to do it. The flavors seem strange together until you bite into a cool, crisp, juicy bite of watermelon balanced with crumbled salty feta and peppery arugula. It just works. And if you're looking for a dressing to tie it all together, I strongly recommend yesterday's Sweet Basil Vinaigrette. The fresh sweetness of the basil and honey really make all of those summer flavors shine.
Ingredients for Watermelon, Feta, Arugula Salad
The ingredients here are entirely in the name (this is a pretty straightforward recipe). But here are a few tips to make this simple salad great.
- Baby Arugula - I like to buy the clamshells of baby arugula to use in these salads because they prevent the greens from compressing and getting bruised. Fresh arugula is tart and peppery and fits so well in this salad. If you don’t prefer the flavor of arugula, try this salad with baby spinach.
- Watermelon - Seedless watermelon makes this salad easiest to prepare and eat. (No one wants to bite into a seed while eating a salad.)
- Mint - Fresh mint is subtle in the flavor of the salad but adds a fresh, bright herb flavor that plays well with the other flavors.
- Feta Cheese - It’s worth buying a block of feta cheese and crumbling it yourself for the best flavor. The pre-crumbled feta is convenient, but it doesn’t have the same fresh flavor as the block stuff. I just crumble the feta with my hands which results in the salad having some larger and some smaller pieces for variety.
- Vinaigrette - See below for ideas.
- Nuts - I don’t usually include nuts in this salad, but wanted to add the option here in case you’d like a bit of a crunch. This salad is great with smaller crunchy nuts or seeds like sunflower seeds or pepitas / pumpkin seeds.
- Fresh Cracked Black Pepper - Don’t skip this step to add some fresh cracked black pepper over the top of the salad. It really helps to make the other flavors shine.
What Vinaigrette to Serve over Watermelon Arugula Salad
A sweet and tangy vinaigrette helps to highlight but not take away from the natural flavors in this salad. A few vinaigrette recipes that work well with this salad are.
- Sweet Basil Vinaigrette
- Balsamic Dressing
- Lemon and Olive Oil (for a really simple dressing, just whisk together equal parts of lemon juice and olive oil and use it to dress the salad.
- Fresh Mint Dressing
More Fresh Summer Salads
- Nectarine, Arugula and Crispy Pancetta Summer Salad
- Bacon, Corn and Avocado Salad
- BBQ Chicken Salad
- Pasta Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing
- Thai Chopped Chicken Salad with Peanut Vinaigrette
Watermelon, Feta and Arugula Salad
- Cutting Board
- Mixing Bowl
- 5 oz Baby Arugula
- 2 cups Cubed Watermelon
- 6 leaves Mint, chopped or finely sliced
- 4 oz Feta Cheese, crumbled
- ¼ cup Vinaigrette, for serving (see note)
- Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
- Toss together arugula, watermelon, mint, feta, and vinaigrette.
- Top with black pepper. Serve immediately.
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