Dish of the Week: Watermelon & Feta Salad (The Perfect Summer Side)

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we’re sharing a salad that will cool you down during those hot summer days. And it's made with watermelon and feta.

While that may seem like an unlikely combination, it’s actually a genius play on the classic salty and sweet. Chunks of crumbly, salty feta balance out the fruit, while fresh herbs and peppery greens add punch.

Not only is the salad crazy refreshing, it also boasts health benefits to keep you rockin’ that summertime bod. To start, watermelon is about 92 percent water, so if you’re looking to stay hydrated and keep things light and fresh, look no further. The fruit also has the added benefits of vitamins A, B6, and C, not to mention lycopene, potassium, and antioxidants. Mixing in fresh herbs like mint – which can help you fight that summer cold – or leafy greens like arugula – which is high in nitrate and can help lower blood pressure – works in both the flavor and health departments.

Even with the addition of feta, the side is a way healthier alternative than the mayo-heavy potato and macaroni salad that you’ll find at most summer bbqs. Just think of it as adding calcium.

This recipe, from Ina Garten, incorporates arugula, mint, and a easy citrus-honey vinaigrette. It couldn’t be simpler to make…or to eat. 

Arugula, Watermelon and Feta Salad

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 cup minced shallots (1 large)
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups baby arugula, washed and spun dry
1/8 seedless watermelon*, rind removed, and cut in 1-inch cubes
12 ounces good feta cheese, 1/2-inch diced
1 cup (4 ounces) whole fresh mint leaves, julienned
*Note: feel free to add more watermelon as desired


Whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, shallots, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly, to form an emulsion. If not using within an hour, store the vinaigrette covered in the refrigerator.

Place the arugula, watermelon, feta, and mint in a large bowl. Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to coat the greens lightly and toss well. Taste for seasonings and serve immediately.

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Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
Contact: Brooke Viggiano