This cucumber watermelon salad with feta is a refreshing summer salad, perfect to serve as a side dish. The juicy cucumber and watermelon cubes, sprinkled with salty feta and fresh basil leaves are finished off with a zingy and sweet honey-lime dressing.
Using watermelon in salad might seem a bit odd, especially when pairing it with feta cheese and basil leaves. However, watermelon is such a great ingredient to use in a summer salad. Combining its sweet and refreshing flavour with the saltiness of the feta cheese makes this watermelon recipe an all time summer favourite. And adding all these lovely ingredients in a cucumber salad makes it even better.
How to make cucumber watermelon salad with feta cheese
Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Watermelon: It is important to use a ripe watermelon, which is sweet and juicy, to make this salad. An unripe watermelon will not give you that sweet and refreshing taste and an overripe melon gets mushy in texture and tends to loose all its flavour. Remove the peel of the watermelon and cut the flesh in to cubes. I like to cut it in bit-size pieces so around 2cm (or 1 inch).
Most people only use the red flesh of the watermelon, however, I recommend to also use the white rind. The watermelon rind is the part between the hard outer peel and the red inside. It has a similar taste to cucumber and has some health benefits. Sometimes the rind can have a stronger taste, so I cut it up in smaller chunks to use in this watermelon cucumber salad.
Cucumber: Watermelon pairs really well with cucumber in a salad. Add an equal amount of sliced cucumber as watermelon in the salad for the best flavour and texture. I don’t peel the cucumber, but it’s up to you if you like the taste of the peel or not. I love the dark green colour in the already colourful salad and the skin adds extra fibre to this watermelon dish.
Feta Cheese: Feta cheese is what pairs best with cucumber and watermelon. The salty taste cuts beautifully through the sweet taste of the watermelon and the mildly bitter taste of the cucumber.
Basil leaves and Dressing: To finish off this refreshing watermelon cucumber salad with feta cheese, add some chopped fresh basil leaves and a honey lime dressing. Don’t use too much dressing, since the salad is already packed with flavour, but the combination of olive oil, honey and lime juice is what holds this salad and its flavour together. You could opt to add fresh mint leaves as well, which I have not done in this recipe, so it’s up to you.
I would recommend not to add too much dressing to this salad. It already tastes nice by itself and does not need that much more. I also don’t add additional seasoning. I would say, taste the salad first and add seasoning to taste.
How to serve watermelon cucumber salad
This watermelon salad recipe with cucumber, feta and basil is best served as a side dish. Since it’s a refreshing summer snack, it’s best served on a warm day as a side dish with a barbecue. Or in combination with other summer favourite dips like Greek tzatziki, or roasted eggplant dip.
How to store watermelon cucumber salad
Both watermelon and cucumber contain a lot of water, which you will also notice while assembling the salad. The water will slowly seep out and into the salad bowl. If you make this salad in advance and store it in the fridge you will notice lots of liquid at the bottom and it will make the whole salad quite soggy.
I recommend to make the salad just before serving. In order to save time, you could already cut up the cucumber and store it in a sealed container in the fridge. The watermelon could also already be cut in pieces but don’t remove the peel yet. Cut them in triangles and wrap these in foil to store in the fridge. In that case, they won’t loose water. When you are ready to serve, it’s much faster when preparing the final watermelon salad with cucumber.
Should you have any leftovers, place them in a sealed container in the fridge. Remove the extra liquid and test first if it’s still nice to eat the day after and not too soggy.
Watermelon salad with feta, cucumber and basil
- ½ cucumber (or 200 grams) sliced
- 200 g watermelon cubed
- 100 g feta cheese crumbled
- 10 fresh basil leaves chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- Put the honey, fresh lime juice and olive oil in a bowl and mix well.
- Peel the watermelon and chop it in to small cubes of 2cm (1 inch). Slice the white rind from the watermelon peel and dice finely. Cut the cucumber lengthwise in quarters and in slices. Roughly chop the basil leaves and crumble the feta cheese.
- Take a large salad bowl, add the cucumber, watermelon, watermelon rind and chopped basil leaves and mix well. Poor the dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese over the salad. Serve immediately.
- I have not added any salt or pepper since the feta cheese is already quite salty. Feel free to add salt and pepper according to taste.
- I use the white rind of the watermelon since it has a similar taste to cucumber and combines really well with this watermelon salad.
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