Watermelon Arugula Salad
(This recipe is part of the “End of Summer Picnic Experience“)
Saturday Morning Farmer’s Market
The essence of Summer is found in a Saturday morning farmer’s market where colorful vegetables and fruits are displayed in artistic fashion. Where else can you go and pick out a bouquet of flowers and then meander a few steps to consume a whole roasted turkey leg? I’ve been mesmerized as I watched a young woman playing her heart out on a violin or listened to a family singing together with a harmony that sent chills up my spine. You can’t manufacture the vibe that is present in this setting. It does make me a little sad to have to say goodbye in a couple of weeks to this lovely season.
I have my favorite vendors at the market. One table, in particular, is an Amish family that (of course) has the most wonderful baked goods available. But the reason I return time and again is a most adorable little babysitting on their table, cooing, laughing and beckoning those of us to come and buy. It works. That little cutie pie is the best advertisement I’ve seen to date. Their moist banana bread is pretty dang good as well.
Choosing a Ripe Watermelon
One of my favorite things to take home on these Saturday morning outings is a big, fat, luscious watermelon. It’s one of the main reasons I show up at the market every week.
Before I learned the simple trick to picking out a nice ripe watermelon, I would grab the biggest one I could find and load it in my vehicle. All I could think about was getting it home, slapping it on my countertop and cutting into that beauty. Over and over my anticipation turned to disappointment when I would slice it open only to find a barely pink center. And the taste, well, was quite “tasteless.” There is a simple, little secret to choosing a juicy watermelon. When you thump it with your knuckles and you hear a hollow sound, you have a ripe watermelon.
There is something magical that happens when I pick out a perfect ruby red watermelon. That treasure, when discovered, makes everything good and wonderful in my world. Then I can finally make the luscious Watermelon and Arugula Salad that my mouth has been watering for.
Watermelon Arugula Salad
Watermelon Arugula Salad is a great choice to take on an “End of Summer Picnic.” It is quick and easy to throw together. This salad is a refreshing side dish with a variety of flavors to enhance the overall taste. The tanginess of feta cheese and the sweet-piquant taste of the pickled red onions pair perfectly with the watermelon and arugula.
Poppy Seed and White Balsamic Salad Dressing
For this recipe, I made a dressing from poppy seed salad dressing and white balsamic vinegar. The combination works well with a variety of salads but in particular with this Watermelon and Arugula Salad. You can mix it together in no time! It is super simple. I combine two-part poppy seed dressing and one part balsamic vinegar. Either white or regular balsamic vinegar adds a nice tartness to the finished dressing.
It is best to combine all the ingredients right before you serve it. If you are taking it on a picnic, place the arugula and mint in a Tupperware-type bowl and use throw-away ziplock bags for the feta, watermelon, and pickled onions. When ready to eat, toss all the ingredients together for a refreshing side dish.
What comes next is a mouthful of deliciousness. Hope you enjoy!
End of Summer Picnic ExperiencePrint
Watermelon Arugula Salad
This salad is light and fresh with a tanginess from the pickled onions. When you add mint and feta, there is an explosion of flavors that will leave you wanting more.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
- 6 cups Packed Arugula, washed and spun dried
- 4 tablespoons Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
- 2 tablespoons White Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/4 of a medium Seedless Watermelon, cubed
- 4 oz Feta Cheese, cubed
- 1/4 cup Pickled Red Onions (see notes below)
- 1 oz Mint Leaves, julienne
Wash and spin dry the arugula. In a small bowl whisk the poppy seed dressing and white balsamic vinegar. In a large bowl, lightly toss the arugula with half the salad dressing mixture. Top the arugula with watermelon, feta cheese, pickled onions and mint leaves. Lightly toss again and drizzle the remaining dressing on top. Serve immediately as the arugula will begin to wilt as soon as it comes in contact with the dressing.
Pickled Red Onions – thinly slice a large red onion. Place onions in a medium size bowl and add 1 cup boiling water. Let sit for 5 minutes and drain. Add the drained onions to a small jar. Whisk together 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar and add to drained onions. Add 5 or 6 whole allspice rounds to the jar. Let sit overnight for the onions to marinate well.
- Serving Size: 1 12 cup salad
- Calories: 144
- Sugar: 18 g
- Sodium: 300 mg
- Fat: 8 g
- Saturated Fat: 3 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 1 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 21 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 4 g
- Cholesterol: 17 mg