Watermelon, Snap Pea, and Mint Salad

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(Note: this post was originally published on June 30, 2019. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)

Summer Mood

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.

Variations

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.

Serving Suggestions

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.

Make-Ahead Tips

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.

Let's Talk Ingredients

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.

  • Peach-infused white balsamic vinegar. If you can get your hands on this, please do!! It's such a wonderful pantry staple for summer. If you can't find it, another fruit-infused white balsamic would be great. Or, use plain white balsamic (or even champagne vinegar) and add a tbsp of maple syrup, since you'll need some sweetness. I don't suggest using dark balsamic since your salad will turn a funny color.
  • Coarse-grained dijon mustard. Homemade is the best! This will give your dressing lots of body to help it stick to the juicy watermelon, plus it provides some delicate heat to counteract the sweet fruit.
  • Poppy seeds. Optional but fun if you like them! They give this salad great visual appeal.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Watermelon
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Cucumbers. Optional but awesome! I love the baby cukes if I can find them. However, this is the most delicate part of the salad, so you might want to omit them if the salad will be sitting for a couple hours.
  • Feta. Optional. I love the salty element it adds! Vegan feta would work fine too, or use avocado if the salad won't be sitting out.
  • Mint. This is the star of the show, so make sure you get mint that's really fresh and fragrant.
  • Pistachios. Optional, but they add a delightfully crunchy element. Slivered almonds could work well too.

Closing Thoughts

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.

Share It!

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.

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Watermelon, Snap Pea, and Mint Salad

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!

Author:
Lee

Ingredients

For the Dressing

  • 3 tbsp peach-infused white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp coarse-grained dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds, optional
  • Generous salt and black pepper  

For the Salad

  • 4 c diced watermelon
  • 2 c sugar snap peas
  • 1 c diced cucumber slices, optional
  • 0.5 c cubed feta, optional
  • ~20-30 mint leaves
  • Handful of pistachios, optional

Instructions

  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. If you want to add cucumber, peel it if desired and cut into slices.
  3. Toss the watermelon, peas, and cucumber into the dressing, and let it all sit for a few minutes so the flavors can marry.
  4. Before serving, cut the mint leaves into very thin ribbons and cube or crumble the feta (if using). 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. If you want to add some crunch, garnish with pistachios at the end, so they keep their crunch.

Leave a Comment

Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you make this recipe? Did you make substitutions? How did you serve it? Any helpful tips? Please share your thoughts, since these insights are really useful to both me and to other readers.

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Kathy H.
July 10, 2019
I made this for a family picnic and it was a big hit! I left off the feta for a vegan version and added avocado right before serving. It was such a good combo. No one even missed the feta.
Dave
July 31, 2021
This is an awesome summer salad and is great for potluck parties!