This is one of the quickest, most vibrant salads you’ll make all summer. Not only is the flavor refreshing, but it packs an equally refreshing twist on how to enjoy watermelon. This seemingly simple dish is layered with hydrating sweetness, surprisingly savory notes, gorgeous color, and tons of texture. Add the perfect harmony of watermelon, creamy feta, and cured olives to your table, and get whisked away to a Mediterranean seaside vacation with every meal.
- ½ mini watermelon (or ¼ regular-size watermelon)
- ¼ cup Moroccan cured black olives, pitted
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced and halved
- ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves, gently torn
- 1 tablespoon Greek oregano leaves, gently torn
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Flaky sea salt for garnish
4 - 6
Remove the rind from the watermelon and slice into ¾ inch thick chunks—I like the style of triangle chunks, but they can be any shape. Arrange the slices on a serving platter.
Sprinkle olives, red onion slices, and crumbled feta cheese over the watermelon slices.
Whisk together red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and sugar. Slowly whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Gently drizzle the sauce over the salad. Garnish with torn mint and oregano leaves, and finish with a good pinch of flaky sea salt, like Maldon.
Step 4: (optional)
Dehydrate ½ cup of olives in an oven at 310°F for 35-45 minutes, until dried out. Whizz olives in a spice grinder or small food processor to create a dust. Use dust as an additional garnish over this salad or other dishes, like our Spatchcocked Grilled Chicken with Sage & Time – Carmelized Lemon Sauce.
More Tips from Chef Marissa Lippert
What was the inspiration behind this recipe?
I wanted a recipe that could be a refreshing treat on a hot day. By mixing sweet and savory, I hope to make something that you can set out everywhere from backyard barbecues to fancy dinners.
Why do you recommend using watermelon instead of melons?
While other summer melons like honeydew and cantaloupe could easily work for this dish, I think the crisp, cooling texture and extra sweet flavor of watermelon pairs particularly well with salty, creamy feta cheese and briny olives.
Why is Greek oregano recommended?
Greek oregano is a little more savory and spicier than Italian. You could certainly swap it for another variety, but the peppery notes of Greek oregano really compliment the sweetness of the watermelon.
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