I’ve never been one to turn down a good salad. Whether we’re talking about the traditional combination of greens plus dressing or a sweet and savory fruit salad situation, I’m up for it. So when I started seeing a certain watermelon salad in my feed (and I mean everybody about him), he knew he had to try.
If you’ve been venturing on social media all summer long, you’ve probably seen this salad. Videos tagged #watermelonsalad have racked up nearly 10 million views on TikTok, and after rumors spread that Kate Middleton eats this every day for lunch, the content just kept coming.
Source: Jessica Bennet
What is watermelon salad?
The watermelon salad in question is a relatively basic chopped salad recipe, and its uniqueness lies in the fact that the base is, you guessed it, watermelon. Toss watermelon chunks with cucumber, feta, red onion, and fresh herbs, then finish with a lime vinaigrette. The concept isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but this refreshing summer salad has the internet in a state of absolute jitters, so I thought I’d give it a try.
Some variations, including the Duchess of Cambridge’s supposed favorite, call for the addition of a diced avocado. However, due to an unfortunate allergy (the biggest tragedy of my life), I was forced to stick to the basic ingredients. I should also point out that most recipes call for fresh mint, but after an unlucky night out that involved too many mojitos, I avoid it when I can. Instead, I went with basil as my herb of choice, which goes better with feta anyway in my opinion.
On a day when the temperature was forecast to hit 90 degrees, I pulled my produce out of the fridge and started chopping it up. That’s the part that took the most time and effort, but otherwise the recipe just involves throwing things into a bowl. After a sprinkle of feta cheese and a healthy dose of vinaigrette, I took a bite.
Source: Jessica Bennet
What does it taste like?
To get a phrase out of the masterpiece that is 10 things i hate about you, I was overwhelmed. Sure, it tasted good, but I wouldn’t say he blew me away with the summer freshness of him. Seriously, the lime vinaigrette was a huge disappointment. It just tasted like spicy olive oil, which wasn’t too bad but definitely left a lot to be desired. To try and kick it up a notch, I added a couple drops of balsamic vinegar to a few bites, which I thought made the flavors pop that much more. If I ever make this again, I’d probably opt for a balsamic vinaigrette over the lime version.
I have also found that pouring the dressing over an already juicy watermelon creates an overly thick situation at the bottom of the bowl. I found myself wishing I had some arugula or another leafy green to mop up the excess. This addition would also have provided a nice contrast, as most of the ingredients had a very similar crunchy texture.
And that brings me to the big question: Will I do this again? Uh, maybe. If I needed a fancy side to bring to a fancy cookout dinner (because I get treated to that all the time, obviously), I’d consider it. However, it’s probably not for a typical workday lunch or even as a side to a backyard barbecue.
But if you’d rather not take my word for it and want to try it yourself, the recipe is below.
Watermelon Cucumber Salad Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes | Difficulty: Easy
Ripe watermelon, cut into small cubes
1/2 English or seedless cucumber, cut into half-moon slices
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
Small handful of fresh basil or mint leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut watermelon into bite-size cubes and place in a medium bowl.
2. Cut the cucumber into half-moon slices and add it to the bowl.
3. Thinly slice red onion and transfer to bowl.
4. Chop basil or mint leaves and sprinkle over salad mix.
5. Whisk together the olive oil and lime juice, along with a pinch of salt and pepper.
6. Pour dressing over salad and gently toss to combine.
7. Top with crumbled feta cheese and more fresh herbs for garnish.
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