The revelation that is watermelon salad was first introduced to me a few years ago, and y'all. It blew my freaking mind. Salty, crumbly feta against the sweet, refreshing watermelon with a hit of herby mint and basil, finished with the tang of fresh lime juice? It instantly became a J&A summertime favorite. And it's healthy to boot!
On my last trip to Costco, I snagged a bag of two personal-sized watermelons, because 'tis the season! Not only are they precious, they are also the perfect size watermelon for a family of two. One half of one of those bad boys provides more than enough to fill half a plate with crisp, cool, refreshing watermelon salad.
This salad couldn't be easier to make. Honestly, the hardest part is peeling the dang watermelon, but with a few thoughtful cuts you can get that puppy ready for chopping in no time! And don't even think about wasting that rind. Pop it in a pitcher or drink dispenser, top it off with water and use the rind from the lime you'll use as salad dressing, pop it in the fridge and BOOM! You just leveled up your hydration game.
I'm not sure that there is a better accompaniment to just about any dish from the grill. Last night we ate it with some Pickle Brined Chicken Thighs, and we couldn't be happier about it. Oh wait, I forgot to tell you about how awesome pickle juice is for brining your chicken! Don't throw that stuff away!!
First off, my Dad swears by it as his "secret ingredient" for bloody marys. But secondly, and even more to my liking, it adds a ton of flavor and helps keep your chicken super moist and tender on the grill. Simply dump whatever juice is leftover from your pickles over your meat and let it marinate for a few hours. The brine does literally all of the work, and again, it's something that would otherwise just go down the drain! I love repurposing things and getting maximum use out of them.
So, without further ado, here is the "recipe" for your new favorite summer side dish. I can almost guarantee you'll be making it all summer long. We've already had it three times this year!
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Watermelon, Feta and Herb Salad
- ½ Personal Watermelon cubed
- 2 oz Feta crumbled
- 1 handful Fresh Basil chiffonade
- 1 handful Fresh Mint chiffonade
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- ½-1 Lime juiced, depending on how juicy it is
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Peel and cube the watermelon. Save the rind to steep in some water for a refreshing drink!
- Stack and roll the mint leaves into a cigar shape, then slice horizontally to chiffonade. Repeat with the basil leaves. Separate the leaves by sprinkling on watermelon.Add feta, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Toss to mix and serve immediately.Sip on your watermelon water, enjoy your plate of barbecue heaven, and lap up the adoring looks from your dining partners. You're a gee dang culinary hero.