Watermelon Greek Salad


Sweet and savory salad. photo: Abigail Weber

I had the distinct pleasure to visit a good friend’s bountiful garden last week. While there was so much to admire, I found his green Cherokee tomatoes the most gorgeous sight to behold. And their beauty was just the tip of the iceberg. They were crisp skinned, sweet flavored, and fantastically juicy. I’m a new fan.

For a little while now, I’ve been wanting to write a take on the classic Greek salad using watermelon paired with tomato. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to go forward with that idea. As you’ve no doubt noticed, I pay almost as much attention to what my finished recipe will look like as to what it will taste like. When thinking about this Greek salad, I kept tripping up on the fact that you wouldn’t be able to to see the difference between the tomato and the watermelon. They were just too same-same looking on camera. And I didn’t want to use tart green tomatoes. When these eye-catching Cherokees rolled into my life, they practically sang to me that they needed to be in this dish.

This is another great salad to bring along to any Labor Day festivities you may be attending this weekend. Just make sure you add the watermelon at the last minute. True to its name it’s chock full of water and tends to create a bit of a puddle if it sits around in the salad too long. I even go so far as to drain it in a colander before adding it to the salad. If you do this too, don’t throw that watermelon juice away. Add some seltzer and mint and you’ve got yourself a refreshing beverage as well!

Serves 6 as a side

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups of 1-inch pieces of watermelon, set in a strainer over a bowl to drain for about 30 minutes
2 large tomatoes (I used one red heirloom and one green Cherokee), cut into chunks
2 Lebanese cucumbers, cut into chunks
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup pitted and halved kalamata olives
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

  1. To make the dressing: In resealable jar, combine all the ingredients and shake well to combine.
  2. To make the salad: In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, tomato, cucumber, onion, olives, and oregano. Pour over the dressing and toss to combine. Sprinkle over the cheese and serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis based on 6 servings:
Calories 143, Fat 9g, Sodium 310mg, Carbohydrate 16g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 11g, Protein 3g

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