Oh hello there Watermelon, Blueberry, and Feta Salad. Aren’t you so pretty and festive? You certainly make my socially distant Fourth of July plans appear less sad.
Is anyone else planning a mini BBQ party for a guest list of significant other, one year old, and overweight cat? And planning an inappropriate number of salads for said event?
But seriously, I’ve been on a salad kick lately as evidenced by my last several posts. If you want to check them out (and you totally should, they’re amazing), here’s the list:
But none of these highlight the amazing summer fruit that’s all over the stores these days. So I figured it was time to remedy that in the most festive way possible. (Star shaped watermelon, I”m looking at you!)
Watermelon and feta salad originates from the Mediterranean – Greece, Turkey, and Egypt all stake claim to the origin of this delicious and simple little salad. It’s become quite popular in the US over the last decade-ish, but if you haven’t ever tried this salad and are thinking “ehhhh… I think I’ll pass on this one Sarah,” hear me (and the rest of the foodie-sphere) out. It totally works. And might become a new favorite.
Why it Works
Watermelon loves salt. Evidence? Salting watermelon has been a tradition in the American South for ages. Mexico loves to season watermelon with salt, lime, and tajin spice. But why? The salt actually works to bring out the natural sweetness of the fruit. It’s unclear to me if it is drawing out water from the fruit and somewhat concentrating the flavor, or it it’s just salt doing it’s normal flavor enhancer thing.
But regardless, salt is definitely good. And should be used on watermelon.
What does feta have in large quantities? Salt!
Cutting out Watermelon Stars
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If you’re interested in making this salad using star shaped watermelon like I did, find yourself a small star shaped cookie cutter. You can find the ones that I purchased here. Slice your watermelon into large rounds, about 3/4-1 inch thick. Using even pressure, press down onto the fruit as if you are cutting out a cookie. Using a seedless melon is best, because the fruit tends to soften in the seeded parts, and this makes it more difficult to get a nice crisp shape to your melon.
If you’re making ahead of time, prep all the ingredients but store separately. I like to keep fruit for any fruit salad in individual containers and not mix until the very last minute to avoid too much maceration. Blueberries have tough skin, so you could probably get away with storing these with the watermelon overnight if you really wanted to. Don’t add the feta prematurely, however, unless you like creamy looking fruit salad.
To prep the dressing – It is fine to mix the lime, oil, salt and pepper ahead of time, but I would wait until just before serving to add the mint. The mint will suffer a bit if left to soak in the acid/oil mixture.
Just before planning to serve, add the mint to the dressing, and very carefully toss your fruit together with dressing, and top with feta.
And enjoy your beautiful and refreshing Watermelon, Blueberry, and Feta Salad!
Happy Fourth of July everyone!
Watermelon, Blueberry, and Feta Salad
- 4 lbs (about 6 cups) seedless watermelon cut into star shapes using cookie cutter, or cubed
- 8 oz fresh blueberries
- 3 oz feta cheese crumbled
- 3 tbsp fresh lime juice juice (juice of about 2 limes)
- 3 tbsp fresh mint leaves julienned
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl combine watermelon, and blueberries.
- In a mason jar, add lime juice, mint, olive oil, and salt and pepper, to taste. Shake thoroughly to combine.
- Drizzle dressing over fruit, and toss gently to coat. Top with feta.
- Serve immediately.