Nothing says summer like sweet, juicy watermelon. With bright chunks of watermelon, this salad is loaded with crisp kale, fresh broccoli, crunchy almonds, red onion, blueberries and salty feta cheese. It’s a marriage of some of my very favorite superfoods for a salad that’s full of flavor and nutrition. Tossed in a homemade vinaigrette, this colorful salad will be a hit at your next summer cookout.
I remember the first time I ever saw a watermelon salad on a menu. It was at one of my favorite Milwaukee lunch spots. Made with arugula, feta cheese, and grilled watermelon, I was immediately intrigued by this super unique salad. When my plate arrived, I took one bite and fell in love. The spicy, bitter arugula and salty feta cheese paired beautifully with the sweet, succulent watermelon. It was perfectly balanced and perfectly delicious. Ever since then, whenever I’ve been out to eat somewhere with a watermelon salad on the menu, I’ve ordered it. No questions asked.
This week, I’m sharing my own version of a watermelon salad. I think the secret to a great watermelon salad is getting the right balance of flavors. Because watermelon is sweet, you want to pair it with ingredients that bring their own acidity, saltiness and bite to the dish. This recipe delivers that balance with a few key ingredients that also deliver a heavy dose of nutrition.
Blueberries are among one of the most nutrient-dense berries. Just one cup of these little super fruits is packed with 4 grams of fiber, 24% of your recommended daily value (RDV) of vitamin C, 35% RDV of vitamin K and 25% RDV of manganese. Loaded with antioxidants, blueberries have also been linked to preventing heart disease, lowering blood pressure and improving brain function.
It doesn’t get much better than kale. A single cup of these dark leafy greens provides you with a hefty dose of key nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6, manganese, copper, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Kale is also packed with vitamin C. In fact, one cup of kale contains more vitamin C than a whole orange—134% RDV.
A handful of almonds makes a tasty snack, but I love them sprinkled in this salad too. Almonds are a great source of vitamin E. A diet rich in this vital fat-soluble vitamin can help lower one’s risk for heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. If that’s not enough, almonds are also a great source of fiber, protein and monounsaturated fats.
Perhaps one of my favorite vegetables, broccoli contains a number of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, manganese, and iron. Known as a cruciferous vegetable, broccoli contains unique plant compounds called isothiocyanates. These compounds have been found to lower one’s risk for several types of cancer.
Yes, even mint offers several great health benefits. Just 1/3 cup of fresh mint leaves offers the body several key vitamins and minerals including folate and vitamin A. Studies have also linked mint to relieving irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and indigestion symptoms.
Beyond being ultra nutrient-dense, this salad is topped with my favorite homemade creamy balsamic vinaigrette. For some reason, I always use to be afraid of making my own salad dressings. In the past, I’d just buy something from the store and call it a day. Eventually, I realized that salad dressings are not only simple to make but a game-changer too! Just shake a few basic pantry staples together in a mason jar and you have a super simple dressing that adds just the right amount of acidity to any salad. It’s safe to say that I’ve been forever converted to homemade salad dressings.
The final reason why I love this salad? The colors! With 4th of July right around the corner, you can bet that this watermelon salad will be sitting front and center on my table for dinner. The red, white and blue colors in this salad make it the perfect patriotic side dish for your Independence Day cookout. The ingredients also hold up well in the summer heat—no soggy salad greens here!
What are your plans for the 4th of July? I always like to try and make it to Summerfest at least once here in Milwaukee. The people watching is always worth braving the crowds. If you make this Watermelon Salad with Kale, Feta, Blueberries and Mint, be sure to give the recipe a rating and leave me a comment below with your thoughts.
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I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July and thanks for stopping by. Happy Frydae!
Watermelon Salad with Kale, Feta, Blueberries and Mint
- 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cups kale, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 cups watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup fresh mint
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 cup broccoli , stems removed, florets roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup almonds, sliced or slivered
Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Wash and chop the salad ingredients as directed. Then in a large bowl, toss to combine.Next, in a mason jar, or container with a tight-fitting lid, combine Greek yogurt, balsamic vinegar, dijon, honey, salt and pepper. Seal the mason jar with its lid and then shake vigorously for 1 minute. When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad and then toss until evenly coated in the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.