It’s unlikely that you’ll make it through the next five months without finishing a meal with watermelon juice running down your arm.
Nothing says ‘warm weather is here’ quite like a thick slice of this quintessential summer fruit. You’re likely very familiar with watermelons sliced or in slushies, but chances are you’ve never had one in a salad.
While it won’t go running down your sleeve, this sweet and savory, salty and spicy salad will definitely make it on your menu rotation this summer. It would also be a great dish to take to any summer get together.
Watermelon is about 92 percent water and six percent sugars, but you benefit so much more than those figures let on. Adding more melon to your diet means a lots of vitamin C and A and betacarotene. Watermelons are second only to tomatoes for lycopene content — an antioxidant effective in preventing some types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The thick-rinded fruit is also low in calories and a fantastic way to stay hydrated during the summer months.
There are more than 100 different varieties of watermelons ranging from red to pink, orange and even yellow. They may or may not have seeds and may be even be square, but the most important indicator of ripeness on all watermelons is the spot where the fruit sat on the ground. This underside area should be yellow or cream colored. White or pale green means the melon was not ready to harvest.
Most melons do not continue to ripen after they’ve been cut from the vine, so choosing a good one from the get-go is important.
This quintessential summer fruit might not be in season quite yet, but local markets are starting to receive bushels shipped from our friends in southern states. So scoop up a juicy one — with a cream colored underside spot — and start snacking.
Watermelon and Feta Salad with Mint and Jalapeno
- 1/2 watermelon, small to medium
- 1/3 red onion, sliced
- 1/3 cup black olives (sliced and whole for variety)
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 jalapeno, juiced (or thinly sliced if no juicer available)
- 1 cup light feta cheese
- 15-20 mint leaves
- Salt to taste (I like Saltopia Twisted Sistaz Lime salt)
- Slice the watermelon into 1 inch cubes. Place in large bowl.
- Mix together lime juice and jalapeño juice. Pour over watermelon.
- Add onion, olives and feta to bowl. Mix sufficiently so ingredients are distributed throughout salad bowl. Add mint leaves and sprinkle with a healthy pinch of salt.
- Keep refrigerated for best flavor.