My favorite “Zestful” recipe!

Summer is here!  Time to cool down with this simple, delicious and amazing recipe.  I came across this recipe (compliments of  J. Kenji López-Alt from a few weeks ago and I am thrilled to share it with you.  As he says, “the salad is not truly dressed until it’s fully zest’d!”


Why do I love it?

It adds lemon zest to accentuate the flavor of the watermelon, adds the feta at the very end so it doesn't get all soggy and mushy and lastly, adds a bit of heat at the end with some diced jalapeno peppers!  One tip - Please choose a feta cheese made from sheep’s milk rather than cow’s milk - makes for a creamier texture and more balanced flavor.

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad Recipe

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Prep 5 mins

Active 5 mins

Total 5 mins

Serves 4 to 6 servings




  • 3 pounds seedless watermelon (about 1 small or 1/4 large), rind removed, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 2 pounds/1kg chunks after rind is discarded)
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) juice from 1 lemon, plus 4 (2-inch) strips zest, removed with a sharp vegetable peeler
  • 1/4 cup (10g) roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Up to 4 ounces (1 quart) arugula leaves (optional; see notes)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces (110g) feta cheese - preferably sheep’s milk


  • Place watermelon chunks in a large bowl. Finely chop lemon zest. Add lemon juice and half of zest to bowl with watermelon. Add mint, oil, and arugula (if using) and toss until watermelon is evenly dressed. Season lightly to taste with salt and pepper. (The cheese will add saltiness, so go light on the salt at this stage.)

  • Transfer salad to a wide, shallow bowl or a large plate and spread out evenly. Crumble feta over the top. Sprinkle with remaining lemon zest. Drizzle with more olive oil and a few grinds of black pepper. Chop 3-4 slices of jalapeno peppers and place on the side - some may like it hot - others may not!  Then, serve immediately.  Bon Appetit!












Please share any variations you might have to make this recipe even more funky and delectable!


- In health and happiness

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published