Watermelon, Cucumber, and Red Onion Salad with Feta

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When you need a bright, colorful, tasty, and refreshing summertime salad, this Watermelon, Cucumber, and Red Onion Salad with Feta, dressed with a light vinaigrette, checks all the boxes.

Summertime Salad
Watermelon, Cucumber, and Red Onion Salad with Feta

The main ingredients in the salad are watermelon, English cucumber, red onion, and Feta cheese. The colorful, juicy watermelon adds color and flavor to the salad and I find it palate cleansing when served alongside, for example, a seafood dish with which this salad pairs particularly well. The cucumber, with its crunch, adds texture and the red onion injects a bit of sharpness, color, bite, and life to the salad. The Feta adds tang and complements the other ingredients well. If desired, add some chopped Pistachios for crunch, interest, and added texture.

Summer Salad with Watermelon, Cucumber, Red Onion, Mint, and Feta
Watermelon, Cucumber, and Red Onion Salad with Feta

Fresh mint leaves pair particularly well with these salad ingredients. I like to chop some of the leaves up to disperse throughout the salad but I also leave some smaller leaves whole for presentation. Mint is a taste so adjust the quantity based on your taste for mint. Add a bit of bright green chopped parsley to the top of the salad for added brightness.

I typically don’t mix this salad in with greens; however, it could certainly be served over a bed of mixed garden greens, if desired.

Colorful summertime salad featuring watermelon, English cucumber, red onion, and Feta
Watermelon, Cucumber, and Red Onion Salad with Feta

Try to get seedless watermelon, if you can, for this salad. It’s no fun removing the big dark seeds from the watermelon before incorporating it into a salad. Cube the watermelon into ½“ or 1” cubes or, alternatively, use a melon baller. That would work, too.

This salad is meant to be clean and light so no heavy dressing to smother the ingredient flavors or colors. Instead, I opt for a simple light vinaigrette, choosing to use a high quality white balsamic vinegar so as not to mar the bright colors of the salad ingredients. I do not recommend using a traditional dark balsamic as it will make the salad appear murky and you don’t want to cover up the lovely vibrant colors of the ingredients.

Balsamics and olive oils are two ingredients I do not skimp on when making vinaigrettes as this is where you will get the true taste of each. I recommend using high quality balsamics and olive oils in vinaigrettes such as this one because the oils and balsamics are bright and clean tasting which really matters in a salad like this.

I use a Pinot Nero Rosé white balsamic vinegar which I get from the All Things Olive specialty store here in Charlottetown. My olive oil comes from there, too. Click here to read my story on the All Things Olive store, written a few years ago on the occasion of their first anniversary in business in PEI. You may have an All Things Olive store in your area or a similar type speciality store that sells high quality balsamic vinegars and olive oils.

Simple Vinaigrette
Vinaigrette for Watermelon, Cucumber, and Red Onion Salad with Feta

Don’t souse or soak the salad with the vinaigrette. Rather, drizzle it lightly over the salad ingredients, just enough to inject some additional flavor to the salad. Adjust amount needed as you toss the ingredients gently or, alternatively, set a small bowl or bottle of the vinaigrette on the table and let diners add what suits their taste.

This salad is scalable which means you can halve it, double, triple, or quadruple it, depending on need. It does not, however, do well with being made far in advance of consumption. This is because of the watery nature of the watermelon itself. As soon as it is cut, the water from the watermelon starts oozing out. Not only will this make an unappealing “drippy” salad but the water will dilute the vinaigrette. For the same reason, this salad does not hold over well to be used as a leftover. For ultimate results, I recommend making the salad just at the time it will be consumed.

This is a great summertime salad that goes with many meals from picnics to barbeques to potlucks and it pairs well with many different foods. If you are looking for a change from a traditional green salad, give this Watermelon, Cucumber, and Red Onion Salad with Feta a try.

Summertime Salad with Watermelon, Cucumber, and Red Onion
Watermelon, Cucumber, and Red Onion Salad with Feta

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Watermelon, Cucumber, and Red Onion Salad with Feta

Salad:
2 cups watermelon (seedless or seeds removed and the rind removed), cut into ½” – 1” cubes
1 cup English cucumber, washed and unpeeled, sliced and each slice halved or quartered
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
1/3 cup crumbled Feta cheese
¼ cup chopped Pistachios (optional)
Small handful of fresh mint leaves (apx 10-12 leaves, depending on size)
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley

Vinaigrette:
1½ tbsp white balsamic vinegar
½ tbsp honey
½ tbsp shallots or green onions, finely chopped
1½ – 2 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Pinch fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ tsp finely chopped fresh dill (optional)

Method:

Vinaigrette: In small bowl, whisk the white balsamic vinegar, honey, onion, and Dijon mustard together. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season with fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste and add the chopped dill.

Salad Assembly: Combine watermelon, cucumber, and red onion in suitable serving bowl or platter. Chop enough mint leaves to equal about ½ tablespoon and leave remainder small leaves whole. Toss mint with salad ingredients if in bowl or sprinkle over mixture on platter. Sprinkle with feta cheese, Pistachios, and fresh chopped parsley. Drizzle lightly with the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Yield: Apx. 4 – 5 servings

(Note: Because of watermelon’s watery nature, this salad does not do well being made far in advance of a meal nor does it hold over well to be used as a leftover. It is best eaten as soon as it is assembled.)

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Summer salad of watermelon, cucumber, and red onion
Watermelon, Cucumber, and Red Onion Salad with Feta

Watermelon, Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Feta

Watermelon, Cucumber, and Red Onion Salad with Feta is easy to prepare and makes a wonderful refreshing summertime salad perfect for picnics, barbeques, and potlucks. Ingredients:
Course Salad
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword cucumber, feta, red onion, salad, watermelon, Watermelon Cucumber Red Onion Salad with Feta
Servings 4
My Island Bistro Kitchen Barbara99

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 2 cups watermelon (seedless or seeds removed and the rind removed), cut into ½” - 1” cubes
  • 1 cup English cucumber, washed and unpeeled, sliced and each slice halved or quartered
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/3 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped Pistachios (optional)
  • Small handful of fresh mint leaves (apx 10-12 leaves, depending on size)
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley

Vinaigrette:

  • tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tbsp honey
  • ½ tbsp shallots or green onions, finely chopped
  • 1½ - 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ tsp finely chopped fresh dill (optional)

Instructions

Vinaigrette: In small bowl, whisk the white balsamic vinegar, honey, onion, and Dijon mustard together. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season with fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste and add the chopped dill.

    Salad Assembly: Combine watermelon, cucumber, and red onion in suitable serving bowl or platter. Chop enough mint leaves to equal about ½ tablespoon and leave remainder small leaves whole. Toss mint with salad ingredients if in bowl or sprinkle over mixture on platter. Sprinkle with feta cheese, Pistachios, and fresh chopped parsley. Drizzle lightly with the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

      Recipe Notes

      Yield: Apx. 4 - 5 servings

      (Note: Because of watermelon’s watery nature, this salad does not do well being made far in advance of a meal nor does it hold over well to be used as a leftover. It is best eaten as soon as it is assembled.)

      For other salad recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

      Grilled Chicken, Strawberry, and Feta Cheese Salad
      Classic Broccoli Salad
      Potato Salad
      Grilled Peach Salad with Peach Balsamic Vinaigrette
      Beet, Watermelon, and Dragon Fruit Salad
      Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette
      Pasta Salad

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