Watermelon Feta Salad

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This Watermelon Feta Salad is the perfect combination of sweet and savory for the season.

Summer is finally here, which means it’s watermelon season!

Watermelon — Karpouzi in Greek — is one of my favorite fruits. I’ve been taking down entire sides of the fuchsia fleshed fruit since I was a baby. And I love seeing trucks loaded up with them when we’re driving around Greece, hearing the drivers as they weave through tiny village streets announcing on their loudspeaker that they have them for sale. But I digress…

watermelon eating
Christina taking down a watermelon as a baby.

This Watermelon Feta Salad is the perfect way to spotlight summer’s favorite ingredient. It’s always on the menu for my weekly personal chef clients and a highlight of the private parties I cook for. The sweetness of the watermelon pairs perfectly with the salty/briny/creamy qualities of the feta. Additionally, adding in aromatics like herbs — especially basil and mint — and fennel take it to the next level. You can make it as simple or fancy as you like. Other delicous additions include cucumber, arugula, and cherry tomatoes.

What kind of watermelon to use in a Watermelon Feta Salad?

Any sweet and delicious watermelon will work for this recipe. But most people these days prefer seedless watermelons. Those are most often the ones I use for my clients and company. Especially, since they don’t have the hassle of spitting out seeds. However, it doesn’t matter as long as your watermelon is ripe.

How to pick a ripe watermelon

Some tips on picking a sweet watermelon:

  • Find one that feels heavy for its size.
  • A dark and dull color means its ripe (shiny and its probably not as ripe)
  • The webbing you see on the melon is a sugar spot and larger webbing means its sweet.
  • Look for the field spot: yellow/orange = sweet || white/light yellow = bland
  • Stem should be dark and not green. Green stems indicate an underripe melon.
  • Listen: If you knock on it and it sounds hollow, that’s a good sign.

What type of feta to use

Feta is one of the main ingredients in this salad. So its quality and characteristics make a difference. Overall, feta should be made from sheep’s milk, which can have up to 30% goat’s milk added. I recommend skipping feta made from cow’s milk if you have a choice. Honestly, it just doesn’t taste like real feta. Again, you’re really looking for briny and tangy qualities here to balance out the sweetness of the watermelon. If your feta seems less tangy, you can always add more lemon to your taste after you’ve dressed the salad. If you want to make this salad completely vegan, then use your vegan feta here!

What are some of your favorite summer salads? Let me know in the comments.

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