The Everyday Chef: Watermelon, Arugula and Feta Salad
Alex Caspero, MA, RD, CLT
Everyday Chef, Fruits & Veggies—More Matters
Have you tried melon and feta before? I was first introduced to the combo many years ago by my Danish cousin and I remember thinking how odd the combination of watermelon, feta and mint sounded. Well, fast-forward to now and it’s one of my favorite ways to prepare in-season melon.
Sweet watermelon, salty feta and mint are the perfect summer pairing. When watermelon is juicy enough that it runs down your chin when you bite into a piece, it’s time to make this salad. It should also be said that while I’m highlighting watermelon here, cantaloupe, muskmelon and honeydew can also be subbed in for some or all of the melon.
I recommend purchasing feta that’s packed in brine as I find it’s flavor is superior to the vacuum-packed, pre-crumbled kind. Depending on where you shop, you’ll likely find this kind of cheese in the specialty cheese section instead of the dairy aisle. Buying in brine keeps feta sharp, tangy and creamy while extending the shelf-life to weeks instead of days. As a bonus, you can use the leftover feta liquid to make sauces, dressings or to brine chicken.
While you can serve this salad with everything tossed together, I like to prepare it and then crumble the feta on top for a more interesting texture and sharp flavor.
Check out my facebook live video to learn more about melons and to see a live demonstration of this recipe.
Watermelon, Arugula and Feta Salad
4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
¼ cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
4 ounces arugula leaves
1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Toss together the watermelon, mint, arugula and olives together in a large bowl. Drizzle over the olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest along with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss again.
Divide into separate bowls or a large platter and crumble the feta on top. Serve immediately.
Per serving: 234 calories, 18g fat, 6g saturated fat, 11g monounsaturated fat, 25mg cholesterol, 352mg sodium, 15g carbohydrates, 1.6g fiber, 11g sugars, 6g protein
Photo Credit: Alex Caspero