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Do you know how to pick out a ripe and juicy watermelon? My dad taught me how to test them at grocery stores and it’s super helpful! Because you gotta admit, nothing is more disappointing than cutting open a giant watermelon to find less than optimal results! Why does this matter? It will come in handy for this picnic-perfect Watermelon Cucumber Salad!
How to pick a good watermelon:
- The watermelon should feel relatively heavy for its size. That means it’s packing in lots of juices! So pick it up and get a feel for it.
- Check for the field spot on the watermelon, and notice if the color has a light and creamy yellowish tone. If it does, it’s a signal of ripeness.
- Look for a symmetrical shape – it can be round or oval, but symmetry is important because it usually means that the watermelon had consistent sun and water in the field, which will translate to an even ripeness all around.
- Tap (bang) it to check for firmness; which means that it’s not too ripe (and mushy). This is the test my kids love to do!
Ok, now that we have that business taken care of, on to make this thirst quenching summer-favorite salad. It’s pretty much summer on a plate ready to be taken to your favorite summer outing or potluck party!
Easy Steps to Make Watermelon Cucumber Salad
Prepare the watermelon. I kinda felt fancy this time around and used a melon baller. It just makes them look so cute and fun. If you’re in a rush though, you can just cut up the watermelon into bite-sized cubes.
Check out my top tips for how to cut a watermelon.
Prepare the cucumber. Again with the fancy! Oooopsie… Actually the way I cut the cucumber also has a practical aspect to it. I used the melon baller again to scoop out the seeds which are the more watery parts of the cucumber, and then I sliced it. This makes the dish less watery when you toss everything together.
Make the dressing. It’s a simple balsamic vinaigrette made with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a touch of honey, salt and pepper.
Dress it up. Add that dressing to the salad, toss in the feta cheese and make it extra pretty with some mint leaves.
Now you’re ready to get your party-on with this perfect summer salad that’s super easy to throw together, super colorful for that picnic spread and super loved by everyone who’s a fan a juicy sweet and salty combo fruity “salad.”
If you love fruits in your salad, here are other salads that are so great for summer:
- Green Goddess Salad – with grapes!
- Beet Arugula Salad – with oranges!
- Avocado Beet Salad – with blueberries!
I hope you try this feelgood Watermelon Cucumber Salad. If you make them, please leave me a comment below telling me how you and your kiddos like them, or use hashtag #feelgoodfoodie on Instagram so I can see (and regram!) your recreations.
Watermelon Cucumber Salad
- Using a melon baller, scoop out balls of watermelon and place on a large plate. You can also chop the watermelon into bite sized pieces.
- Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. With the same melon baller, scoop out the inside seeds of a cucumber, then slice and add to the large plate with the watermelon balls
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt, and black pepper to create a dressing.
- Pour the dressing and crumbled feta over the watermelon cucumber salad and top with fresh mint leaves.
- Stir gently and serve immediately.
- For best results, prepare the salad as close to serving as possible. If needed, prepare the individual ingredients ahead of time, but do not mix with the dressing until just prior to serving.
- If preparing in advance, I would recommend draining some of the water from the watermelon but placing the melon balls on a colander until you’re ready to serve.