I’m not a huge arugula fan, but this salad is delicious. I never would have made it if my husband’s Aunt Sylvia hadn’t requested it and I’m so glad that she did. I have made it several times now. This salad has such an interesting combination of flavors – the arugula is strong and peppery, the watermelon is sweet and the feta is nice and salty. All in all a surprisingly good and interesting combination. The vinaigrette made with the fresh citrus juices is the icing on the cake. I haven’t served it to anyone who didn’t like it. My father even said it was good, which surprised me – this type of salad isn’t really up his alley.
I used crumbled feta instead of diced, and it worked fine. You’ll find that you end up with a bunch of extra dressing. Keep it in the refrigerator and use it on another salad. The dressing calls for 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Because some feta can be very salty, I recommend that when making the dressing, you start with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, taste the dressing and increase the amount of salt to taste. You don’t want to end up with really salty cheese and a salty dressing too. This is a perfect summer salad, especially if you’re looking for something different.
Arugula, Watermelon and Feta Salad
Recipe from Ina Garten as seen on FoodNetwork.com
For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (~1/2 an orange)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (~2 lemons)
1/4 cup minced shallots (1 large)
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt (start by adding 1/2 teaspoon, taste the dressing and increase the salt to taste)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups baby arugula, washed and spun dry
~2 cups seedless watermelon, rind removed, and cut in 1-inch cubes
12 ounces good feta cheese, 1/2-inch diced
1 cup (4 ounces) whole fresh mint leaves, julienned
Whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, shallots, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly, to form an emulsion. You can make the dressing earlier in the day and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Place the arugula, watermelon, feta, and mint in a large bowl. Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to coat the greens lightly and toss well. You will have extra dressing. Taste for seasonings and serve immediately.