In this Watermelon Feta Arugula Salad, peppery arugula is topped with sweet, icy cold watermelon, crunchy pickled red onions, briny crumbled feta, and balsamic vinegar to concentrated it tastes almost sweet. It forms the perfect summer salad!
Watermelon Feta Arugula Salad is f-to the-abulous! It is beyond good.
While traveling for work a few years ago, I took my mom and two of my sisters with me. They had a salad while I was in a meeting and went nutty for it. The one they raved about was an arugula, watermelon, feta, and pickled red onion salad that was drizzled with a balsamic reduction.
On our last day of the trip I finally got to grab one of these salads at the Florida Fresh booth in Epcot Center. I understood the enthusiasm with my first bite.
Peppery arugula topped with sweet, icy cold watermelon, crunchy pickled red onions, briny crumbled feta, and balsamic vinegar that was so concentrated it tasted almost sweet? Hoo yeah. I was hooked.
Aside from a Dole Whip (soft serve pineapple frozen yogurt) I can’t think of another thing that would’ve satisfied my hunger without weighing me down in that oppressive heat. I vowed to them I would recreate it STAT when we got home.
Watermelon Feta Arugula Salad isn’t just delicious, it’s gorgeous. Just look!
Watermelon Feta Arugula Salad
ONE: It makes enough pickled onions to make at least six dinner sized watermelon feta arugula salads ~or~ make four dinner sized salads and tuck some into several sandwiches. These onions are better than good, they’re great!
TWO: It makes enough balsamic reduction to drizzle over at least fifteen dinner sized salads. I think you’ll find more things to drizzle than just salads when once you’ve tried it, though.
I love it on roasted potatoes (sweet or regular) or carrots or turnips, fried eggs, corned beef hash, or glazed on grilled or roasted meats or fishes. Holy over-conjunctions, Batman. Seriously, though? So good.
THREE: It uses another make ahead powerhouse; Homemade Feta Cheese. Oh, sure… You can use purchased feta, but if you made that gallon jar a while back, you may be looking for ways to use it up. This is a home run and a half!
FOUR: This watermelon feta arugula salad! This salad is your four-fer qualifier. It’s so dad-burned good I’m at a loss for words. I guarantee it will cool you down and make you happy on the hottest of days. I can’t think of a better accompaniment to grilled ANYTHING than this.
Once you have the pickled onions and balsamic reduction in the refrigerator, you can assemble this salad in minutes. And once you’ve had this salad once, you’re going to want it again and again. Work-a-day weeknights, parties, picnics, and any old time is the right time for this mouthful of a salad.
Are you looking for more side salad options to accompany your main dish? Try out our W Broccoli Grape Salad , Fresh Tomato Salad with Smoked Blue Cheese, Refrigerator Pickled Salad (Bread and Butter Style), Asian Marinated Cucumber Salad, Tuna Filled Avocado Salad, Watermelon Feta Salad, Spicy Corn and Black Bean Salad, Roasted Beet Salad with Herbed Goat Cheese, or Jalapeno Coleslaw!
Watermelon, Feta, Pickled Red Onion and Arugula Salad with Balsamic Reduction
For the Balsamic Reduction:
- 3 cups balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 bay leaf
For the Salad:
- 6 cups baby or tender arugula
- 2 cups cubed watermelon well chilled
- 1/2 cup Quick Pickled Red Onions drained
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese or more to taste
- balsamic reduction to taste Start with 1 teaspoon and work up from there.
To Create the Balsamic Reduction:
- Add the balsamic vinegar to a heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. Stir in the honey, add the bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and let the balsamic vinegar simmer for about 30 minutes, or until it has reduced in volume to about 1 1/4 cups total. Immediately pour into a sterile jar with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate until ready to use. Be sure it is well chilled before pouring on a salad. This will store indefinitely in the refrigerator.
To Assemble the Salad:
- Arrange the arugula on a serving platter. Scatter the pickled onions over the top, followed by half of the crumbled feta, the watermelon cubes, and the remaining feta. Use a spoon to drizzle the balsamic vinegar reduction over the salad immediately before serving.