Watermelon Salad Recipe With Feta & Basil | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures Watermelon Salad Recipe With Feta & Basil | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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RECIPE: Watermelon Salad With Thai Basil & Feta Cheese

Fruit Salad With Goat Cheese
[1] A refreshing watermelon and strawberry salad with feta or goat cheese (photo © Murray’s Cheese).

Yellow Watermelon
[2] Yellow watermelon is a special treat (photo © DP Seeds).

Greek Feta Cheese
[3] Greek feta is the best: no overly salty like others (photo courtesy Murray’s Cheese).


Watermelon is the juiciest of melons, with a very appropriate name given that the fruit contains about 92% water by weight. Mankind has been enjoying watermelon for a long time. There is evidence that it has been cultivated in the Nile Delta since the second millennium B.C.E.

Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C, beta carotene and lycopene (the latter in the red-fleshed variety only). But first and foremost, it’s delicious.

Watermelon has long been featured in summer recipes: in mixed fruit salads, martinis, smoothies, sorbet, on the grill, and so much and more.

Watermelon is wonderfully refreshing in this Watermelon Salad with Thai Basil & Feta. Just because it’s called a “salad” doesn’t mean it has lettuce—or even a recognizable vegetable. Other greens, such as parsley or basil can turn mixtures of ingredients into salads.

  • Watermelon: For fun, mix red and yellow varieties.
  • Basil: Look for a special basil at the farmers market.
  • Cheese: Crumble feta or goat cheese.
  • Dressing: lime vinaigrette*
  • Optional: berries
  • Optional: something sharp—baby arugula, radish, red onion
  • Optional: some heat—thin-sliced jalapeños or a sprinkle of chile flakes in the vinaigrette
  • Optional: something crunchy—apple, celery, cucumber, daikon or watermelon radish, jicama, romaine, sliced almonds, toasted pumpkin seeds
    *Substitute fresh lime juice for the vinegar, or use a citrus-infused vinegar or olive oil (blood orange, lemon, lime, etc.) If you have chile-infused oil, you can use that too, ideally half-and-half with non-flavored oil.

    Beyond what you find in the supermarket—the herb called sweet basil—there are many different basil varieties, each with distinct aromas and flavors. We love the conventional basil, but in the summer months, we head to the nearest farmers market to pick up some special varieties.

    If you live in a temperate climate, you may only see these in the summer months. If you have a garden, plant your own!

  • Christmas basil, with glossy green leaves and purple flowers, has a fruity flavor.
  • Cinnamon basil has cinnamon flavor and aroma.
  • Dark opal basil is deep purple in color and spicier than sweet basil.
  • Lemon basil adds its flavor and aroma to salads, as well as iced or hot tea and fish dishes.
  • Lime basil: ditto.
  • Spicy bush basil has the smallest leaves but intense flavor.
  • Sweet Thai basil, different from Thai lemon basil, with anise-clove flavors.
    There are many more basil cultivars.


    There are numerous watermelon salad recipes, plus sides and sandwiches with watermelon, at Watermelon.org.

    We can’t wait to try the Watermelon Tabbouleh Stacks with Grilled Chicken. And perhaps whip up some watermelon sorbet!

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