Watermelon Salad with Cilantro & Feta
Enjoy the taste of summer with this simple Watermelon Salad with cilantro, creamy feta, crunchy pine nuts, and crisp cucumber on a bed of arugula. A drizzle of olive oil and balsamic cream completes this refreshing salad.
Watermelon season is on! What better way to fill up on water than a sweet and juicy watermelon? This popular combo of watermelon and feta has been around for some time now, and it seems to be here to stay like any good combo. This watermelon salad with cilantro brings this famous duo of ingredients to another level, with roasted pine nuts for crunch, arugula for a slight bitterness and cucumber for extra freshness. The fresh cilantro replaces the usual mint but adds as much vigour to the salad. The dressing consists of a simple extra-virgin olive oil and a balsamic glaze because sometimes simpler is better.
The Perfect Salad Theory
I believe a perfect salad must always contain lettuce of some kind, a fruit, a nut, cheese or yogurt and some juicy tomato or cucumber. This way, you always get a delicious dish filled with nutrients, a mix of textures and many colours. Never sadder, in my book, than a plain lettuce salad.
I believe salads are just divine! So fresh and healthy if not soaked in dressing. Young kids need to appreciate a good salad, but sometimes it’s hard to dig in initially. This is why this recipe is so great: the watermelon! What kid can resist a juicy, pink cube of watermelon? If at least they dig in for the watermelon at first, maybe the second time around, they will dig in further, try the cheese, etc. However, I would keep the cilantro away from the kids because of its strength; it might be too much. So better omit it for them or start with simple, fresh basil, which would do wonders here too.
Pine Nuts Toasting
These tiny nuts are incredible protein-packed gems that transform into a powerhouse ingredient with a touch of toasting. While they may be bland when raw, these little companions burst with a potent nutty flavour once toasted! Therefore, I enthusiastically suggest lightly toasting them before adding them to your salad. No need to use a special pan or oil; take any skillet or pan and move them up once in a while until golden.
As mentioned earlier, feel free to replace fresh cilantro with mint or basil based on your preferences. I chose arugula for its subtle bitterness and sharpness in this salad, as the watermelon will complement it perfectly! However, if you’re not a fan of arugula, you can easily swap it for your favourite lettuce. Similarly, you can substitute pine nuts with sliced almonds or sunflower seeds for the nutty element. Salads are an art, and you are the artist so you can customize it to your liking. The rest is up to your creativity if you have the trio of watermelon, feta, and cucumbers.
Other Summer Dishes
- 2 cups arugula
- 100 g feta cheese
- 1 slice of watermelon cut into small cubes
- ½ cucumber sliced into small cubes
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 2 tbsp cilantro to taste
- extra-virgin olive oil
- balsamic cream
- salt and pepper