(Note: this post was originally published on June 30, 2019. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)
Watermelon- there's nothing more summery! This salad celebrates all things summer with sweet juicy watermelon, crisp sugar snap peas, 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.
This is a salad that I never make the same way twice, so you'll see various iterations of it represented in the photos here. It's a really easy one to change up, which makes it really versatile and easy to pair with any meal. Accordingly, you'll find lots of ideas and options below.
This salad can become ANYTHING, which is one of the reasons I find myself making it so frequently during the summer. I consider the watermelon, snap peas, and mint to be the three integral elements; after that, switch up the other elements as much or as little as you desire!
In terms of other veggies, anything refreshing and juicy is right at home in this salad. I often add cucumber slices, especially when I can find baby cucumbers because they're so pretty. I also sometimes add summer berries; a couple of these photos even show the salad with pink champagne currants from my mom's garden!
In terms of adding some decadence, you have lots of options. Feta is a natural pairing with watermelon, and its delightful saltiness is such a great complement to the other juicy ingredients. If you're vegan, there are some decent vegan feta options out there, or you can just omit it. I've also added avocado to this salad numerous times with great success. Finally, feel free to add a big handful of nuts across the top; I love pistachios and they make so much sense alongside the mint.
As you can see from the photos throughout this post, there are a lot of ways to present this salad. I often just put it on a big platter since the ingredients are so beautiful. Scatter some pistachios across the top and a few extra mint leaves for extra visual appeal. I've also been known to stuff it inside a hollowed watermelon, which (let's be honest) is a pain but so darn fun for a special event. The stuffed watermelon shown here was for a friend's baby shower!
This salad also packs great for a picnic, so we've just dumped it inside a container many times. Because all of the ingredients are pretty robust, it's definitely a salad that travels well.
This salad is a great make-ahead option, which is another reason we love it. If you'll be eating in a couple hours, you can make the entire thing and just keep it cool. Easy! If it will be longer than that, I suggest keeping the dressing separate and tossing it in when you're ready to serve, since otherwise the veggies (especially if you've used cucumber) can get too soft. Add any crunchy elements (pistachios!) or feta/avocado right before serving to avoid sogginess or browning.
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
This salad is my summer everything. If you've come to our house to hang out and grill on our deck, you've likely had this salad in one of its many variations.
Although the flavors are simple, something sort of magical and unexpected happens when they come together. They all elevate each other. It's the perfect balance between sweet and salty, juicy and crispy, fresh and decadent. This makes it a great side dish for pretty much any summery meal, and it's especially lovely alongside grilled fare.
Plus, given how many options I've given you above, there's really no reason you can't make this again and again all summer long. Change up the ingredients a bit each time and it will always feel fresh and exciting.
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
This light and hydrating salad is bursting with sweet juicy watermelon, crisp sugar snap peas, and fragrant mint. It's a great side dish to all your summer meals!