Watermelon is indisputably one of the most beloved summer fruits. Paired here with arugula, feta and a white balsamic and poppy seed vinaigrette, this SUMMER WATERMELON & CUCUMBER SALAD is sure to find it’s way into your regular summer rotation!
I love summer for a million different reasons, but all the fresh produce has to be at the top of my list. The backyard is sure to see a steady stream of dinner traffic over the next three months (four if we are blessed with a gorgeously warm September, which has been known to happen in the North West) with friends and family gathering over simple grilled meals. Because watermelon is at the top of my summer produce list, I am sure to slice open and serve more than my fair share of these heavenly striped gourds dripping with sweetness. And, while my kids love them simply cut into wedges, I am always trying to think of new ways to serve watermelon to adults.
Using fruit for the star of a great summer salad is a great go to. Here are a few of my favorites. During blackberry season, this blackberry and chèvre salad is perfect when the berries are ripe, sweet and falling off the vine. And this peach caprese salad is equally delightful in later summer months. My favorite watermelon salad over past couple of years has been an arugula, watermelon, feta and a balsamic reduction combo.
While delightful, this year I wanted to switch things up a bit, so I recently experimented by adding cucumber and took the dressing to a whole new level by switching out the traditional balsamic for a white balsamic and adding poppy seeds. These little changes provided just the pop my favorite summer salad needed to stay at the top of list for yet another year. I know my guests will love this watermelon salad with a white balsamic and poppyseed vinaigrette. I hope yours will as well.
Summer Watermelon & Cucumber Salad
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp poppy seeds
- 1 5 oz package of baby arugula
- 1 2 lb watermelon, or roughly 6 cups, cubed
- 1/2 english cucumber sliced
- 1 6 oz package feta, crumbled
- 16 basil leaves
Place olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard and honey in the bowl of a small food processor. Pulse a few times to emulsify the dressing. Add salt and poppy seeds, stir with a spoon to incorporate. Set dressing aside.
Place arugula on a platter, cover with cucumbers and watermelon. Sprinkle with feta. Make a stack out of the basil leaves. Roll them in either direction and thinly slice them to make ribbons. Toss evenly over the salad. Drizzle with dressing. Enjoy
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