I take choosing my produce very seriously. I have methods I use for just about everything that ends up in my basket from smells to thumps to plain ol’ intuition. The inspiration behind this recipe started with choosing the perfect watermelon, which ended up being massive. I just couldn’t bear to waste a single bit of it. So, we invited friends over for a summer BBQ and this salad came together with what we had in our fridge and has been a summer dinner party menu request ever since.
There is definitely an art to choosing THE watermelon. If you’re able to swing by a farmers market ask the farmer to select one for you- they know their product the best. If you find yourself staring at the mountain of watermelons at the grocery store follow these steps to help you find the best in the bunch.
To find the best watermelon:
– Pick it up – it should feel heavier than it looks
– Turn it over – Look for a yellow splotch. That splotch forms where they rest on the ground when it turns a creamy yellow it’s perfectly ripe.
– Thump it! A ripe watermelon will have a deep hollow sound. An over or under-ripe melon will sound dull.
Pro tip: If you end up with a massive amount of watermelon left over use it all by blending watermelon, lime, and mint for popsicles and pickle those leftover rinds (*trust me*)!
For the salad:
- 3 cups chilled seedless watermelon cut into small triangles or cubes
- 3 cups baby arugula
- 1 medium seedless cucumber, sliced into ribbons using a peeler
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion or shallot
- ½ cup snipped fresh mint
- ½ cup crumbled feta or cotija cheese
For the vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons lime
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- maldon salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- In a large bowl combine watermelon, arugula, cucumber, red onion, and mint. If desired, cover and chill for up to 1 hour.
- For vinaigrette, in a screw-top jar combine lime, oil, salt, and pepper. Shake well. Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to coat the greens lightly and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with feta and Maldon sea salt and serve.