Watermelon Salad with Purple Basil and Feta

In Season, Recipes, Sides, Summer

This complex sweet and savory salad will be a certain hit with your guests, especially since it looks so beautiful on the platter. Play around and have fun with the presentation. You can serve it in the watermelon rind itself. Or, for a party appetizer, serve the salad with tiny toothpicks or forks alongside so your guests can serve themselves, bite by juicy bite, along with a margarita or a cold beer. 


Watermelon Salad with Purple Basil and Feta




  • 1-inch (2.5-cm) thick slice cut from the center of a seedless watermelon 1 (about 1 to 1 1/2 lb./500 to 750 g)
  • 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) niçoise or Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 5 oz. (155 g) feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes
  • 1/2 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) lightly packed fresh purple basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper



1. Place the watermelon slice on a cutting board and cut around outside to remove the green skin and white flesh. Cut the red flesh lengthwise and then crosswise, forming 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes. Carefully slide the watermelon onto a serving platter, taking care to keep shape of slice intact.


2. Sprinkle the watermelon with the olives, feta cubes and basil leaves and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.


Recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma Cooking for Friends: Fresh Ways to Entertain with Style, by Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm






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Watermelon Salad with Purple Basil and Feta
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