Watermelon Feta Salad

I’m curious if you salt your watermelon. I had never tried it until I moved to Atlanta years back. It makes perfect sense, the salt brings the sweetness to the forefront and instead of being a flat kind of sweet, it pops.

We grew watermelons for the first time last year. The vines spread and spread, escaping their boundaries, encroaching upon our driveway. It was all very exciting.

In a matter of days little hairy peanut-sized melons grew exponentially, almost unbelievably so, and my husband and I would give each other daily watermelon updates. “They definitely look bigger today, definitely! Did you see that other one?  It’s like, ‘feed me, Seymour’ out there!”. The melon weighed more (about 30 lbs.) than our toddler, and all of us – the dog included, took turns getting photo-ops with it.
We made various cocktails, juices, agua frescas, salads, and of course ate them plain too (with and without salt). My counters, floor and refrigerator were sticky for weeks.
I like this watermelon feta salad so much because it seems so balanced.  While I chop up the watermelon, the normal uber-sharpness of red onion gets macerated and mellowed in lime juice for a few minutes, but it still offers pepperiness. Feta brings the salty tang, and a chiffonade of basil, ensures I get some in each bite. And an extra pinch of salt, just ’cause.
Watermelon Feta Salad (serves two)
juice of one lime
1/4 to 1/2 of a red onion, sliced thinly
3 cups of  cubed watermelon, about one-inch sized
1/4 cup of feta cheese, crumbled
8-10 basil leaves, chiffonaded
pinch kosher or sea salt, optional
Combine red onion with juice of one lime and let sit  in a medium bowl while cutting watermelon and basil. Toss in bowl gently with feta. Serve immediately.

31 thoughts on “Watermelon Feta Salad

  1. With salt is about the only way I like watermelon in hunks, or at least with something salty. My great-grandfather taught me to eat it that way. Love the feta watermelon salad – I have a friend who brings it to a pool party – the first time as a bruschetta sort of thing with the cheese, onion, herb mixture on top of smallish slabs of watermelon. Yumm!

  2. I do like a bit of salt with watermelon. I just discovered the beauty of watermelon and feta salad this summer. So good! Yours looks so beautiful! Also, the dog and melon photo is too funny.

  3. This is awesome! I have not done much with watermelon, but now I want a driveway so that I can let a watermelon vine take over it. Also, is your dog part Nova Scotian Duck Tolling Retriever? I never knew what that was, but my dog, which is a mutt, looks EXACTLY like one. Yours kinda does too!

      • Haha that is funny! When my dog was growing up, a lady had to practically shake me and tell me to look them up for me to believe that A) such a dog even existed and B) that my mutt could be one of them. But when I look at them online, some of the pictures look exactly like him!

  4. I tried to grow watermelons two years ago in the greenhouse, they grew slightly bigger than a cricket ball and smaller than a football! All four gardeners shared a piece it was heaven! Our summer drinks are watermelon and mint and the other favourite is cranberry juice and ginger beer. Im still to try your Zucchini salad, our courgettes are just getting big enough, then i shall try it. Keep up the recipes they are great!

      • Let me know if you like the Cranberry drink! Finally getting our crop of courgettes so i can try your salad. Have you tried growing sugarsnap, so so delicious and huge crop per plant!

      • I will! My husband uses ginger beer for his “dark and stormys” cocktails, and cranberry juice is easy to get, so I will definitely try it and let you know! (tip, on the courgettes, just warm them through, ie, err on the side of al dente’…) I haven’t grown sugarsnaps, I want to try that next year… Right now I have pole beans out there. They have grown past their “poles” and reached into a nearby branch into the tree. It is a hot mess really 🙂

  5. That looks delightful! Hmm, basil, feta and watermelon, what a refreshing combination. Especially with the lime and onion. Whenever I go to Thailand, i have a variation of this salad that is served with larb. It has thai basil instead and kind of like a queso fresco for the cheese and some Thai chili as well. Really good!!

  6. Oooo looks uber delicious! And wow, I have never seen a watermelon seedling. It is quite amazing that they start off so little and hairy lol, and become these giant melons. Power to mother nature!

  7. Gorgeous salad combo. I will try it as soon as we crack 70 degrees… Still sitting here with space heater blasting at my knees. How fun to grow watermelon- most certainly a pay off for the kind of heat you must endure. You deserve something so sweet and sticky. And do you know how much an organic watermelon that size would cost! Well done 🙂

    • Thanks Wendy, it’s a world of extremes… at 105F, I would trade you at this moment. You’re right, I deserve watermelon! The watermelon plants I have right now, I foolishly planted in the same spot and although they are a different variety (smaller) I don’t think it’s going to work out… They are finally starting to creep out of their boundaries, but it doesn’t look promising… I fear the soil (though ammended throughly) was simply depleted of vital “melon nutrients”… thoughts?

    • Thanks Claire! If you have the space, it is very rewarding. It made it’s own path and “patch” where it wanted. It even creeped around a bush…. I called it an “invasive annual”…

  8. This looks very refreshing. My big challenge is fridge space once I cut into a watermelon. I almost have to plan for it, so that I don’t buy too much that week. Isn’t that crazy? Nicely done growing your own! Love it!

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