We made this refreshing Watermelon Feta Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette while vacationing up in Northern Minnesota. So cool, delicious and irresistible on a hot summer’s day!
Watermelon Feta Basil Salad
This unusual, refreshing summer salad is perfect for your next picnic or potluck. There are numerous varieties of this watermelon dish, some with mint and parsley others with a lime or red wine vinegar based salad dressing. When I was up in Northern Minnesota for a mini family reunion, the cooks in the family gathered in the kitchen and made this delicious version replete with feta, kalamata olives, basil and a balsamic vinaigrette.
Tips for Making a Watermelon Salad
Like its name suggests, watermelon is filled with water. 92% water, in fact! Therefore, any dressing you add will be diluted with the juices from the fruit.
- To avoid having the dressing diluted with watermelon juices, which makes a less flavorful salad, serve right after tossing with the dressing.
- Another option is to cut the watermelon, place it in a colander over a bowl and let it rest in the refrigerator to allow excess juice to drip into the container.
- If you do the latter, you can prep the olives, feta and dressing ahead of time to streamline the process at dinnertime.
The Best Watermelon Salad
Boy did we have a blast cooking together. When I get together with my sisters, we start planning the next meal even before our plates are empty. We took turns at the helm and had some amazing meals. My aunt, Angela, had a notebook of recipes she had collected over the years. She whipped up a marvelous black bean feta dip that I must recreate. This was her version of the best watermelon salad!
My grandmother’s Ginger Crisps and Raspberry White Chocolate Bars, which I schlepped through TSA from Indianapolis, were noshed on after dinner, and we found that melted Dove chocolates paired beautifully with the ginger cookies.
As is typical for summer gatherings at the lake, the grill was going full time each night when dinner time rolled around. The side dishes varied, but this watermelon feta basil salad was delicious and especially memorable; I knew it would become a summer tradition.
More Summer Recipes You’ll Love:
- Watermelon Salsa from Reluctant Entertainer
- Melon and Prosciutto Skewers from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Frozen Watermelon Margaritas from Living Locurto
- Classic Gazpacho from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Watermelon Prosciutto Bites from Belly Full
- 3 pounds of watermelon, rind removed and cut into bite sized chunks (seedless watermelon is recommended)
- 4 ounces feta, cubed
- 3 green onions, sliced (I forgot to add these!)
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pits removed and cut in half
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh basil (chiffonade* or chopped)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Gently toss watermelon, feta, onions, olives and basil in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar and pour over salad. Gently toss.
- Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper if desired.
The feta and olives can be quite salty. I did not feel this salad needed salt, so taste before adding any.
With my sisters and Greenwood relatives (my mom’s family!) in Northern Minnesota.