Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

Watermelon salad with feta and mint brings a sweet and salty combination with cooling mint and a little spike of spiciness to make things interesting.
Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

Last Updated on July 18, 2022

Watermelon salad with feta and mint
Watermelon salad with feta and mint

Watermelon salad with feta and mint brings a sweet and salty combination with cooling mint and a little spike of spiciness to make things interesting.

This is one of my favorite summer salads. The sweetness of the watermelon combined with the saltiness of the cheese, the fresh mint, and Aleppo peppers are a winning combination. The original recipe from Jeff Potter’s Cooking for Geeks only includes mint and spice as extra ingredients to try. Well, I put them together and they really are a winning combination. The cheese softened whatever bite the Aleppo pepper has and the mint cuts the heat of the spices as well.

The other “secret ingredient” that takes this salad over the top is Pico Fruta from Penzey’s Spices. It mimicks the spice that Hispanic street vendors put on fruit. If you haven’t had spice on fruit, you’re missing out. It brings out flavors and makes them pop in your mouth.

What Kind of Watermelon?

If you have a large group to feed this watermelon salad with feta and mint, get a large watermelon. Look for watermelons that don’t have a large yellow portion. The yellow skin is the skin that did not get exposed to the sun when the melon was growing. Melons with a small amount of yellow skin were turned while they were growing and will taste better. Also, knock your hand on the melon. If you hear a hollow sound, that’s a good thing. If you hear nothing, or the skin feels mushy, then the melon has gone bad.

The same goes for the small mini melons now available at the supermarket. A small melon is enough to make a salad for four people. You will not have leftovers to munch later.

Don’t throw away the peels because you can make amazing watermelon rind pickles with them. Were you lucky enough to get a watermelon with black seeds? Even better, the melon will be sweeter and the seeds, once roasted, are a tasty treat that happens to be full of nutrients.

What Kind of Cheese?

Feta is the preferred cheese here. Get plain feta from whichever country you like, it’s even okay to get the pre-crumbled feta. If you have leftover feta, you can put it in a quiche!

Why Onions Make You Cry

If onions make you cry, there’s a reason for that. Human eyes have water and fumes from onions are attracted to that. Here’s the science from Jeff Potter:

When cut, an enzyme (allinase) reacts with sulfoxides from the onion’s cells to produce sulfenic acid, which stabilizes into a sulfuric gas (syn-propanethial-Soxide) that can react with water to produce sulfuric acid. This is why we cry when cutting onions: the sulfuric gas interacts with the water in our eyes (the lacrimal fluid) to generate sulfuric acid, which triggers our eyes to tear up to flush the sulfuric acid. Because sulfides are water soluble, soaking the cut onions removes most of the undesirable odors. You can soak them in water, or try vinegar to impart a bit of additional flavor. Also, cutting onions in a wet environment provides liquid for the sulfur compounds to dissolve into.

Jeff Potter, Cooking for Geeks

Let’s make Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

Watermelon salad with feta and mint

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

Watermelon salad with feta and mint brings a sweet and salty combination with cooling mint and a little spike of spiciness to make things interesting.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chilling: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Difficulty: Easy
Newsletter: 2022-07-31
Servings (slide to adjust): 4
Calories: 217kcal

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Red onion, thinly sliced and soaked
  • ¼ cup Water
  • 4 cups Watermelon, 1 mini
  • ¼ cup Feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoon Mint, fresh leaves
  • ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon Pico Fruta
Ingredients necessary for the recipe step are in italic.

Instructions

  • Mise en place
    watermelon salad with feta
  • 1/4 cup Red onion, 1/4 cup Water
    Soak the onions in the water for at least 15 minutes so they will lose their sharpness.
    watermelon salad with feta
  • 4 cups Watermelon, 2 tablespoon Mint
    Cut the watermelon into bite-size pieces. Use your favorite way of doing it. Remove the stems from the fresh mint.
    watermelon salad with feta
  • 1/4 cup Feta cheese, 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
    Put the watermelon, feta cheese, and mint into a nice serving bowl. Drain the onions and add them to the bowl. Sprinkle Aleppo pepper on the salad.
    Watermelon salad with feta and mint
  • 2 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar, 1/4 cup Olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon Pico Fruta
    Put the vinegar in a small bowl with the Pico Fruta. Slowly start whisking in the oil until you have an emulsion.
    watermelon salad with feta
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and serve. Enjoy!

Notes

Feel free to omit the Aleppo pepper and Pico Fruta if you don’t like spicy food.  If you want to make this vegan, you can omit the cheese or substitute your favorite vegan cheese instead.

Nutrition

Serving: 226gCalories: 217kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 4gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 166mgPotassium: 273mgFiber: 2gSugar: 11g
Got Questions? Let me know!Mention @arbpen or tag #arbpen!
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About arbpen

As an award-winning and serious home cook, I seriously believe there is no reason why you can't have a restaurant quality meal at home. One of the good things about eating at home is to save money, so armed with a good menu plan, a shopping list, and an appreciation of good food, we can all have gourmet food on a budget.

2 Responses to Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

  1. Anderson Rider says:

    5 stars
    I was extremely pleased to discover this recipe. I wanted to thank you for posting about this fantastic watermelon! I definitely enjoyed every bit of that salad, and so did my family. We will be making it, again and again, this summer.

  2. Carolee Mosqueda says:

    5 stars
    I’ve heard of this combination before and wanted to try it. I liked it very much and plan to make it a lot this summer. Thank you!