I have a confession I hated watermelon most of my life. I don’t know why but I just never really liked it. It wasn’t until a couple years ago when I decided to try it again, that I realized what I was missing. It’s funny how much our taste buds change as we get older. The first time I tasted watermelon in a salad though, I have to admit I was a little skeptical. It was at a 4th of July barbecue a couple of years ago and I only remember that there were greens, watermelon and feta in the salad. I was quickly blown away by the sweet and savory contrast that the watermelon and feta brought to the salad. It was so dang good.
I knew I wanted to recreate this salad but it had been so long since I had first tasted it that I wasn’t sure what that original salad had in it so I just winged it and it turned out better than I could have even imagined. I used arugula for the greens, which I know arugula isn’t everyone’s first choice when it comes to salad greens but just trust me on this one. The arugula adds the perfect amount of bitterness that contrasts the sweetness of the watermelon and candied walnuts and the saltiness of the feta cheese. If you aren’t normally an arugula fan, I encourage you to give it a try!
Tips & Tricks:
- It is super important that you don’t make this salad ahead of time. You want to make it just right before serving. Watermelon is full of water (hence the name) so this salad will get very soggy and wilted if you make it ahead of time. Start assembling it about 10-15 minutes before you want to serve it.
- You can make your own candied walnuts or you can buy them. You can usually find them on a shelf near the produce section at your local grocery store.
- I used passionfruit juice instead of orange juice in my dressing, so if you have access to it, use it! Otherwise orange juice will work just fine!
Watermelon Feta Salad
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 5 min
- Total Time: 15 min
- Yield: 10–12 1x
This salad screams summertime! Loads of fresh watermelon, arugula, feta and candied walnuts with a light orange scented dressing. It is sweet, refreshing and addicting.
- 6 cups cubed fresh watermelon
- 5 oz arugula
- 5–6 oz crumbled feta cheese
- 1 cup candied walnuts, storebought or homemade (recipe follows)
For the dressing:
- 2 tbsp orange juice (I used passionfruit juice, you can find it here, use code shaemakes for free shipping)
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the homemade walnuts:
- 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
*Candied walnut instructions at the bottom
For the salad:
- 10-15 minutes before you are ready to serve add watermelon, arugula, feta and candied walnuts to a large serving bowl.
- To make the dressing combine all dressing ingredients in a small Tupperware with a lid and shake vigorously until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Right as you are ready to serve the salad, add the dressing and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.
*For homemade candied walnuts:
- To a skillet add all ingredients and turn the heat to medium/high.
- Stir frequently until the sugar starts to melt.
- Once the sugar starts to melt, stir constantly until all the sugar is fully melted and the nuts are completely coated, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer nuts to a sheet of parchment paper and separate them into individual pieces by using two forks or spatulas.
- Let cool completely before using.
*This salad does not store well and should be eaten immediately. Do not prepare until you are ready to eat it as it will get very soggy if you do.
- Category: Salad
Keywords: Watermelon, Feta, Arugula, Salad, Watermelon Salad, Summer Salad, Fruit Salad
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