This just might be my favorite salad of all times. Which is a bold statement, considering I eat and love a lot of salads.
If while reading the title of the recipe you felt a slight bit of skepticism, I don’t blame you. The first time I saw this on a menu at my beloved Le Pain Quotidian, I was a bit hesitant to order it myself. Would the feta and watermelon work together? And with balsamic? I wondered. It seemed like a rather odd mash up of flavors. Luckily, my curiosity over-rid my timidness, and I selected the salad as my lunch entree.
From the first forkful of watermelon and feta together, I couldn’t get enough of the pairing. Watermelon, sweet and lusciousness, physically and literally attracts dry, tangy, crumbly feta, and the two stick together to deliver a wild flavor explosion to the senses. What is extreme in each is balanced beautifully by the other, and the addition of peppery arugula, and a surprise element of fresh mint, add add up to a salad that with each bit leaves you eager for another, desperate for a change to figure out what dance of flavors is going on in your mouth.
Easy to assemble, this is a perfect summer salad for entertaining, even for a hesitant guest. Best made in summer when watermelon is in season, I served this at my sister’s bachelorette brunch this Saturday, but it makes a welcome and bold addition to any summer gathering, or a perfect solo lunch dish.
For the salad (below serves one as an entree; double for four people as a side dish)
- 2 cups arugula
- 3/4 cup watermelon, cubed
- 1/4 cup feta
- handful of fresh mint
- optional: a quarter of a thinly sliced cucumber
- optional: half a sliced heirloom tomato
- one part (2-3 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
- one part balsamic
- salt and peper to taste
- Combine arugula and watermelon cubes. Crumble feta over the two.
- Chop fresh mint, mix.
- If adding cucumber and tomato, chop and add to salad.
- Mix olive oil and balsamic in small separate bowl. Pour over salad.
- Add salt and cracked pepper to taste.
- Go to flavor heaven.
Simple as that. Serve among chewy fresh bread and enjoy what is to be your favorite summer dish.