Watermelon Salad with basil, feta and balsamic syrup is a refreshing summer side dish that's perfect for potluck dinners because it's simple to make and there are so many "fun" ways to serve it!
Chunks of fresh watermelon topped with fresh basil, crumbled feta cheese and a drizzle of balsamic syrup is a winning flavor combination that will delight the palate...and be the cookout recipe everyone talks about.
Because...well, there are many watermelon purists out there. People who don't want to mess with the perfect fruit.
I'm one of them. Watermelon disappears at our house almost immediately. There's never time or leftovers to experiment with!
But, Watermelon Basil Feta Salad is well worth leaving a few cups behind. It's divine and your taste buds will thank you because you're giving them something new...and delicious.
Watermelon Salad is a more or less recipe! Adjust the suggestions as desired.
- Watermelon - Cut into 1-inch chunks or use a melon baller to make small balls.
- Fresh basil - Chiffonade the basil by stacking 4 to 5 leaves at a time, rolling them and then cutting them with scissors or a knife.
- Feta cheese - Crumbled. For a dairy-free version, leave this ingredient off or use a vegan option such as the Vegan Feta Cheese by Healthier Steps.
- Balsamic syrup - Balsamic glaze can be purchased at the store. But it's so easy to make this reduction! Double the amount so you can use it with other things like Roasted Asparagus or Caprese-style dishes.
- Place about half a cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to low and simmer until it turns syrupy and coats the back of a spoon.
- It takes about 10-15 minutes depending upon how much you want to reduce it!
- There's no need to add any sugar or sweetener, but you can add a pinch if desired.
- Allow it to cool before drizzling over the watermelon.
Prepare the watermelon, feta cheese, and balsamic reduction in advance. Combine the ingredients and prepare the basil closer to serving time.
Ways to Serve
It may seem quite obvious...just serve Watermelon Salad with basil, feta, and balsamic syrup in a bowl. That works.
But, there are other options that ensure each serving gets a fair share of all the toppings, makes entertaining and little easier, and has maximum presentation appeal!
- Mason jars - add the watermelon first and then top with the other ingredients. If you're entertaining, make these up and store them in an ice bucket for guests to take out and enjoy!
- Bite-sized appetizers - arrange the watermelon chunks in a single layer and top with basil, feta, and balsamic syrup. Stick a toothpick or skewer in each chunk!
- On a slice of watermelon - top a slice or round of watermelon with all the goodies.
- Ala carte - put out all the ingredients and allow each person to add what they like!
No matter how you decide to serve this watermelon salad, you're sure to have a crowd-pleaser at your next party.
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Watermelon Salad with Basil and Feta
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar or 1/4 cup balsamic reduction
- 4 cups watermelon cubes
- 1/2 cup basil fresh
- 4 teaspoons feta cheese crumbled
- Add balsamic vinegar to a small saucepot and bring to boil over medium-high heat.
- Turn heat down and simmer for about 15 minutes or until balsamic vinegar becomes syrupy and coats the back of a spoon. Stir occasionally.
- Allow balsamic reduction to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
- Start the salad while the balsamic syrup is simmering.
- Divide watermelon between 4 serving bowls.
- Stack, roll and cut basil into strips and sprinkle over watermelon.
- Sprinkle feta cheese over watermelon.
- Drizzle balsamic reduction over the watermelon in each bowl.
- Serve immediately.