Watermelon, Feta and Basil Salad

Cooking for a Crowd, Cooking for One or Two, Recipes, Small Plates & Snacks, Weekend Cooking, Worknight Dinners
watermelon basil feta salad
watermelon basil feta salad

Photo: Leigh Loftus

Yesterday morning I woke up to a wonderful email from my friend Karen, an editor for Shape.com, letting me know that one of the recipes I had written as part of a series for her last year was featured in the online page of the July issue of the magazine.

Not only was I excited to see my work mentioned in Shape, one of my favorite magazines, it’s also quite fitting that the recipe pictured on the page was my watermelon, feta and basil salad. Lately I’ve been on a huge watermelon kick, one that you might even call obsessive.

I mean, it’s watermelon, right? It’s a lot better than my chocolate chips straight from the bag kick or my there is no way there are more than three servings of sweet potato fries in that bag kick, right?

watermelon basil feta salad

Photo: Leigh Loftus

What I like best about this salad is that it’s completely unexpected. You’d expect mint over basil and you typically don’t serve fresh summer fruit in a light vinaigrette. Somehow though, it all melds together perfectly for a light and refreshing summer dish.

Serve this along with a refreshing cold soup or a light sandwich or wrap. It’s a good picnic salad if your picnic is a classy one that involves plates and eating utensils, but if you prefer to hit the town packing snacks of the finger food variety, this might be one to save for the days that you’re sticking closer to home.

watermelon basil feta salad

Photo: Leigh Loftus

Watermelon, Feta and Basil Salad (In Shape Magazine!)
Recipe type: Weeknight Dinners, Cooking for a Crowd, Cooking for One or Two
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 T fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 8-lb seedless watermelon cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • 1 cup reduced-fat feta
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped basil leaves
  1. In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the watermelon, feta and onion and toss gently. Garnish with the basil and serve.

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  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Look at this! How exciting! Congrats…the recipe sounds delicious and it’s one of those ones I keep saying I’m going to make!!

  • Reply
    July 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I have yet to have watermelon this year and that’s so unusual for me. I guess because it’s just now starting to be summer in New Hampshire which is totally unlike summer in Louisiana which starts around April. Congratulations on being featured on Shape’s website! That is so exciting! I can completely see why this salad was featured. It looks absolutely delicious. I think my first watermelon of the season will not be eaten plain this year. It will definitely be in a version of this salad. Yum!

  • Reply
    July 8, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    I made a salad just like this last year, and it was delish 🙂 Congrats on getting your story in Shape — very exciting!

  • Reply
    July 5, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Congratulations! I love basil over mint and the combo of feta and watermelon sounds amazing!

  • Reply
    July 5, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Congrats Maris on the Shape article! Well deserved! Love this salad – since I’m the only one who eats watermelon in our household, I think I’ve had every version of watermelon salad and yours is def one of my faves!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    July 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I tried my first watermelon salad ever for our gourmet group dinner last weekend. It was wonderful! I can totally get your obsession 🙂 Congrats on the article!

  • Reply
    The Waspy Redhead
    July 4, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Hooray for being featured in Shape! I also love that magazine. Watermelon keeps me sane in the summer. I eat it nearly every day.

  • Reply
    lisa keys
    July 4, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Congrats Maris-so proud of you. I love this watermelon salad-it went great with my grilled chicken

  • Reply
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction
    July 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I love this flavor combination! I have something similar coming up on MBA…congrats on being featured in Shape! So awesome.

  • Reply
    July 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Oh, I think I like the sound of basil even more than mint! What a lovely salad…and congratulations on its publication…wow!

  • Reply
    July 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    This is just my kind of salad- fruity, fresh & healthy!! Love Love Love it! Congratulations on the magazine feature!

  • Reply
    July 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    What a perfect, simple and interesting flavor combo. I love it! Happy 4th!! xx

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    July 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Happy 4th, Maris! I hope your having a great one. And congrats on your feature! So fantastic!

  • Reply
    lisa @ smart food and fit
    July 4, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Congrats! That’s great you are mentioned in Shape magazine! I love all three ingrdients! I made a watermelon granita last week, watermelon is so refreshing!

  • Reply
    Beth @ DiningAndDishing
    July 4, 2011 at 8:27 am

    this combo just does not get old to me!! watermelon is so perfect right about now :).

  • Reply
    July 4, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Wait, eating chocolate chips from the bag is a “kick” and not a “lifestyle”? Hmm. I need to rethink this.

    i’d much rather eat this salad, though. I love the non-traditional use of basil!

  • Reply
    Nami @ Just One Cookbook
    July 4, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Oohhh! Congratulations Maris! That’s awesome!!! What an interesting combination of watermelon and feta, yet I’m so looking forward to trying this!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Love watermelon and feta salad, perfect for summer and Congratulations on your publication.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    awesome recipe of course they featured it

  • Reply
    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic
    July 3, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I’m not the biggest fan of fruit served as a savory dish but I could actually imagine liking this! Sounds perfectly summery 🙂

  • Reply
    Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)
    July 3, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I’ve always been scared off by recipes with watermelon and feta. I guess I haven’t been convinced that the combination would ‘work.’ But you have won me over. I’m going to bookmark this and aim to try it this summer.

  • Reply
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen
    July 3, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Love watermelon and feta together! Congrats on have this great recipe featured in Shape.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Congratulations on your Shape feature! Going to go browse their website now 🙂 Love the unexpected flavors in this salad.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Congratulations on the article mention, and I love the sweet and salty combination in this salad. Delicious.

  • Reply
    Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather
    July 3, 2011 at 10:57 am

    That sounds like the perfect summer time salad… a nice change to the norm.

  • Reply
    Olga @ MangoTomato
    July 3, 2011 at 10:23 am

    congrats on the magazine! this is one of my favorite summer salads. sometimes I add tomatoes or roasted beets. other times I add steak 😉

    Happy long weekend!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Maris- I am so happy for you on the Shape topic; that is amazing and I will be keeping my eye out for it!

    This recipe looks so refreshing, and much healthier then chocolate chips from the bag… I’m guilty of that too!

  • Reply
    Little Inbox
    July 3, 2011 at 7:09 am

    This is so refreshing.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Congrats on your publication! It’s very well-deserved 🙂

    I usually eat watermelon just as slices but i am a feta cheese fanatic. Combining that cheesey flavor with the sweet watermelon sounds very cool!!!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2011 at 12:01 am

    I would have never ever imagined all of these ingredients together–but it sounds like a great idea Maris! And good for you on being in Shape~that’s such an exciting opportunity 😀

  • Reply
    sheila @ Elements
    July 2, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Congratulations, Maris! I’m so excited for you that your recipe is being featured!! It’s a wonderful salad that’s perfect for summer!! And nibbling on watermelon is WAY healthier than reaching for the bag of chocolate chips or other sweet ooey gooey treats. I’m all for more watermelon recipes so if you have more I sure do hope you’ll post them! 🙂 Congrats again! sheila

  • Reply
    Maria @ Scandifoodie
    July 2, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    That’s great news about the publication, congratulations! I love the combination of watermelon and feta or halloumi. So refreshing and delicious!

  • Reply
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    July 2, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    This is such a delightfully refreshing salad isn’t it! 😀 I like how you added basil to it too 🙂

  • Reply
    July 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    So many watermelons around but it gets boring if eaten as a fruit. I will definitely try this one. Congratulations on your successes! You continue to help us all eat healthy, and enjoy it too.

  • Reply
    Ally @ Sweet & Savory
    July 2, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Congrats! I never would have put feta and watermelon together, but it must work!

  • Reply
    July 2, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    That looks really interesting….I’ve never tried watermelon and basil together before!

  • Reply
    Sawsan@chef in disguise
    July 2, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Oh and CONGRATS on your recipe being featured 🙂

  • Reply
    Sawsan@chef in disguise
    July 2, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    I LOVE watermelon..I really do but for some reason I have never tried it in a salad…I really need to correct that

  • Reply
    July 2, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Woohoo, congrats on the Shape feature! It is the perfect summer recipe 🙂

  • Reply
    July 2, 2011 at 10:39 am

    What a wonderful treat. I am a huge watermelon fan and this really looks delicious. Have a great weekend. Blessings…Mary

  • Reply
    July 2, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Perfect combination for a summer salad! I love watermelon and feta together! Throw in herbs such as basil or mint, and you have somehthing wonderful :)!

  • Reply
    July 2, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Congrats on the feature!! Love watermelon in any shape or form, but with feta. wow what a treat!


  • Reply
    Karriann Graf
    July 2, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Perfect combination I would say! Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    July 2, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Congratulations on the feature!!! This salad does look fantastic. I am on a watermelon purée with Vodka tequila kick…your kick sounds healthier!

  • Reply
    July 2, 2011 at 7:56 am

    I love the combination of watermelon and feta. Cool, Creamy, and delicious! Nothing beats that!
    I’ll have to check out shape magazine! Congrats!

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Tarte du Jour
    July 2, 2011 at 7:21 am

    This salad looks so refreshing and tasty! Congratulations on Shape magazine!

  • Reply
    July 2, 2011 at 6:12 am

    This is a quick and fresh salad!

  • Reply
    July 2, 2011 at 4:11 am

    Well done for being published, how exciting! I make a salad similar to this but I use mint instead of basil, it’s my favourite summer salad. Going to try the basil now! 😀

  • Reply
    July 2, 2011 at 2:37 am

    totally unexpected! wasnt expecting basil or sweet onions – now im real curious as to how it’d all come together in my mouth! 🙂

    congrats on the feature too 🙂 yay!!

  • Reply
    Kate (What Kate is Cooking)
    July 2, 2011 at 12:04 am

    I have been meaning to try this combination for a year! Seriously, once I started eating dairy again I swore to myself that I would get my hands on some watermelon and eat it with feta. I am definitely bookmarking this for the occasion when I have all these ingredients!

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    This is such a refreshing change of pace Maris. Have a wonderful patriotic long weekend!!

  • Reply
    Junia @ Mis Pensamientos
    July 1, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    oooo great watermelon salad! i never even dreamed of eating watermelon with savory flavors, but i am seeing it everywhere in the blogworld. 😀

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Very cool, and it sounds like a delicious combination.

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Congratulations!! I’ve been on a huge watermelon kick lately too and your salad looks amazing!

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Congratulations on your recipe being in Shape! I love eating watermelon in the summer, and your salad looks great!

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Sounds tasty – but unusual (at least for me). Perfect for a 4th of July picnic, I’m thinking. And congrats on your article! That’s awesome!

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    These flavors together want me to get a fork and come to your house. Your food is always delicious!

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Congratulations on your Shape.com feature! Watermelon is quite underrated. It’s sweet, beautiful to look at and, I’m sure, even more delicious when paired with feta and basil.
    And yes, I too have been stunned by what’s considered a serving size (especially when it comes to frozen pasta dishes that are prepared in a skillet), and I’ve had my share of chocolate chips by the handful. 🙂
    You have a lovely blog!

  • Reply
    Heather @girlichef
    July 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Congrats on the feature…that’s awesome!

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    This is such a great combo and congrats on being in Shape.

  • Reply
    Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet
    July 1, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I can’t seem to get past plain watermelon or made into aqua frescas. Maybe it is time. Congrats.

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Hey cool! You got Shape and I got Women’s Health. Look at us go! Congrats. You’re right, though, I would expect mint over basil. As it happens, I have both growing in my yard, maybe I should do a side by side taste test. Bet both are great.

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Congrats on being in Shape magazine, I love them too! This looks delicious for a hot day like today!

  • Reply
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    July 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I love watermelon and that looks delish 🙂

  • Reply
    A Plum By Any Other Name
    July 1, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Ahh definitely one of my favorite combos. Hooray for summer!

  • Reply
    Dishes of Mrs. Fish
    July 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Yay for getting your recipe published! My husband and I love watermelon. 🙂

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I have had this combination at a restaurant and it is TOTALLY amazing! Congrats on the feature!! That is so awesome (and well deserved :))

  • Reply
    Chris motamed
    July 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    I remember you made the watermelon salad when you were visiting Kiawah. It was awesome !!! Congrats on Shape Mag !!

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    What a great idea. I love the combinations

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Congrats. The salad sounds really wonderful, sweet and salty

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Congrats on your recipe being in Shape. I love that magazine, too. I also love watermelon like its going out of style. A store near my has them on sale for 15 cents a pound and I just might pick up three this weekend. 🙂 Have a great 4th!

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Last summer I was on a feta and watermelon kick. I think I need to revisit that, it’s so refreshing.

  • Reply
    natalie (the sweets life)
    July 1, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I share your watermelon obsession–love it plain or dressed up like you have above (one of my frequent combos!).

    Happy 4th!

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    This recipe really appeals to me – it looks fabulous! I really love feta with any kind of fruit.

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Hi Maris, I’m SOOOOO excited for you being featured on shape.com!!! Woo Hoo!!!! Watermelon, mint and feta salad is one of my faves!!! I make mine just like your but with lime juice. (great minds think alike! 🙂 ) Have a wonderful long weekend!

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    this sounds fabulous! i love all the watermelon recipes I”m seeing lately. can’t wait for them to show up at our markets soon! 🙂

    And congrats on the Shape.com piece! How exciting! I can’t wait to (hopefully) see some of my recipes on other online publications

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Congrats! That is so awesome that your recipe is in Shape. HUGE accomplishment 🙂

  • Reply
    July 1, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    This recipe looks and sounds so refreshing! Congrats on the publication!

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