Cool Down on a Hot Summer Day With Watermelon Mint Salad
by Meghan Rodgers
July 14, 2021
Need an easy side dish for dinner or your upcoming picnic? Look no further than Watermelon Mint Salad.
Watermelon makes for the perfect summer side since it's so light and refreshing. Add fresh mint for the ultimate mealtime cool-off. Salty feta, flavorful olives and bold onion round out this simple salad recipe — no master chef skills needed here! Just throw it together because that's the kind of summertime ease we all love!
How to Pick a Watermelon*
Ripe watermelons in Pennsylvania are just starting to come to market, so keep an eye out. Watermelon is the star of the show in this Watermelon Mint Salad, so it's important to pick a good one!
The best way to know whether a watermelon is ripe is to check its flesh, but since it's more sustainable (and economical!) to skip the plastic-wrapped pre-cut melons, it's important to know how to identify a delicious whole watermelon.
Here are four tips for picking a ripe, juicy watermelon:
1. Check the Exterior
Great watermelons can be either oval or elongated. Whichever you choose, stick with one that's free from irregular bumps, cuts, or bruises. The watermelon should also have a thick, firm rind that doesn't give or scratch easily.
2. Feel the Weight
A ripe and sweet watermelon feel heavy for its size. That's because its full of water and therefore juicier and more flavorful.
3. Look for the Fieldspot
All watermelons will have a cream or yellow spot on their underside. This indicates the side where the watermelon rested as it grew. Watermelons don't continue to ripen after harvest so it's important to identify the spot color for your best chances of a ready melon. Yellow means it spent more time ripening on the ground, indicating a sweeter flesh. A white spot suggests it could have been picked too soon and won't wow you.
4. The Tap Test
While not necessarily the best indicator on its own, adding the tap test to your final assessment of the watermelon may help. A ripe melon will have a deep thump when tapped with your fist.
Recipe Pro Tips:
- Try adding cucumber to this salad for even more hydration boost.
- -Want to heat up while you cool down? Trying adding thinly sliced jalapeños for an unbelievably delicious kick.
- -Vegan? Substitute for vegan feta or omit entirely. The salad will still have tons of flavor!
Watermelon Mint Salad
14 cups of watermelon, cut in 1-inch pieces or melon balled into large circles
20-30 fresh mint leaves, lightly chopped (if large leaves)
8 ounces of feta, crumbled into large chunks (mozzarella, vegan mozzarella or vegan feta also work well)
8 ounces sliced Kalamata olives
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 limes, juiced
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
- Cut or ball watermelon and place in large serving bowl. (If time allows, let sit for about 20 minutes and drain excess juice from bowl.)
- Sprinkle melon with salt. Add mint, feta, onion and olives to bowl and toss until ingredients are distributed well. Drizzle lime juice over bowl.