10 Of Our Most Refreshing Watermelon Salad Recipes
When summer rolls around, it seems like you always have an excessive amount of watermelon on hand. After all, it's peak season for the pink, juicy, and super-sweet fruit—why wouldn't you? Though there's always the simple (and simply delightful) option to slice it and eat it whole as is—we're big fans of adding a savory element or two to enhance the juicy sweetness this summer gem. So when you've had your fill of diving face-first into a ripe slice, here are our favorite watermelon salad recipes to make the most of your summer bounty.
Toasted Farro Salad with Watermelon and Peaches
Toasting the farro before boiling it brings out an added layer of rich nuttiness to this hearty grain salad. Complemented by fresh herbs and sweet, juicy peaches and watermelon, this summertime side dish is the ultimate refreshing and nutritious bite you need. Serve it immediately, or let the flavors meld in the refrigerator for a couple hours (or overnight) and enjoy it cold.
Watermelon and Arugula Chicken Salad
If watermelon wedges are a mainstay at your summer cookouts, try dicing for this instant, gorgeous salad.
White balsamic vinegar and olive oil lightly dress the bed of arugula, summer-ripe cherry tomatoes, and sweet watermelon. Fresh mint leaves and pecorino Romano top it off beautifully.
Tomato, Watermelon, and Feta Skewers with Mint and Lime
No time for skewers? Gently toss the ingredients in a salad bowl, or dice the tomato, watermelon, and cheese into small cubes to serve as a fresh relish for grilled meats.
Summer Fig and Watermelon Salad with Feta
Balsamic glaze is a syrup of concentrated, cooked-down, sweetened balsamic vinegar; it adds a sweet and tangy element to this refreshing salad. Look for it near the vinegar.
You can substitute unseasoned rice vinegar or fresh lime juice for the white balsamic, adding a touch of honey if needed. Fresh mint can stand in for the basil.
Watermelon Salad with Feta and Cucumber Pickles
Sumac--available at spice stores--adds a subtle piney, tangy note, but don't worry if you can't find it: The salad will still have loads of flavor complexity without it. You could also sub 1 teaspoon of prepared horseradish for the wasabi powder.
Watermelon, Corn, and Tomato Salad
Karen Hatfield, chef-owner of Odys + Penelope and Sycamore Kitchen restaurants in Los Angeles, calls this refreshing and slightly unusual savory-sweet summer salad a perfect example of the saying "if it grows together, it goes together."
Grilled Calamari, Watermelon, and Tomato Salad
Chris Cosentino of Cockscomb restaurant in San Francisco is known for adventurous dishes like this one, a meet-up of mild grilled calamari (squid), fresh produce, and exciting seasonings. He grills the calamari over almond wood plus regular charcoal briquets; for the home cook, he recommends easy-to-find mesquite hardwood charcoal. To make the dish as fiery as Cosentino likes it, use 2 tbsp. black pepper and 2 tsp. Aleppo pepper, and don't seed the serrano chile.
Grilled Watermelon and Halloumi Salad with Minty Green Beans
If your farmers' market doesn't have slender haricots verts, grab a handful of regular green beans and cook them a couple of minutes longer. Halloumi is a wonderfully salty-nutty cheese that's firm enough to stand up to grilling; if you can't find it, use ricotta salata or queso fresco.