Watermelon, Snap Pea, and Feta Salad

Watermelon- there's nothing more summery! This salad celebrates all things summer with sweet juicy watermelon, crisp sugar snap peas, salty feta, and fresh mint.

During the summer, we do a lot of grilling on the deck and picnicking. I find I'm always throwing together salads like this that are a versatile side dish (but can also function as a meal for non meat eaters), and that are quick to prepare. Because when everyone is out on the deck, the last place I want to be is stuck in the kitchen making something fussy! This one can be thrown together in just a few minutes, especially if you cut up the watermelon in advance.

I also love that salads like this can be dressed up for more formal affairs. While this one is certainly great out of the container on a picnic, it can also be presented nicely for an event. You could plate it on a bed of greens (wouldn't arugula be perfect?) or in the hollowed-out watermelon (as I've shown here).

The flavors of this salad are really quite simple, which I think is part of its appeal. The dressing is just a bit of white balsamic and honey, so that the other ingredients can really stand out. The star of the show here is certainly the feta, which is delightfully fresh and salty; it's definitely one of my favorite cheeses, and we have such amazing local feta in Vermont.

But although the flavors are simple, something sort of magical and unexpected happens when they come together. They all elevate each other. This salad has definitely become a go-to for me during the summer, and I hope it will for you too. Enjoy!

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Looking for another salad that would be great for a potluck, picnic, or BBQ? This Roasted Corn, Avocado, and Strawberry Salad is just as summery.

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)

For the Salad
  • 3-4 c watermelon 
  • 1-2 c sugar snap peas. Regular peas will also work here, although I love the crunch of sugar snaps.
  • 0.5-1 c feta. I love Maple Brook Farm and Doe's Leap Farm from Vermont. The feta pays a starring role here, so get something really special.
  • ~20-30 mint leaves
  • Handful of pistachios. Roasted and salted!
For the Dressing
  • A few tbsp white balsamic vinegar. A flavored, summery white balsamic could work beautifully here too; for example, I have a white peach balsamic that I love in summer salads with fruit.
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
  • Salt and black pepper 
Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. Mix up the dressing ingredients in a large mixing bowl (to which you'll later add all the salad ingredients, so make sure it's big enough).
  2. Prep your watermelon by cutting it into cubes, and your sugar snaps by removing the stems and cutting each pod into a couple bite-sized pieces. 
  3. Toss the peas and watermelon into the dressing, and let it sit for a few minutes so the flavors can marry. If you're planning to make this salad in advance, I'd stop here and do the rest at the last minute.
  4. Before serving, cube or crumble the feta and cut the mint leaves into very thin ribbons. Then add both to the salad and remix. I like to add these right at the end so that they stay fresh and maintain their shape.
  5. Plate the salad however works for you- maybe just in a container for a picnic, or on a bed of greens, or in a watermelon half.
  6. Garnish with pistachios at the end, so they keep their crunch.


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