Crisp, juicy and sweet with natural hydration benefits, nothing says summer more than watermelon. Kick it up in this salad with spicy pickled jalapeno, cucumber and red onion, finished off with a pop of mint and salty feta cheese for the perfect balance of flavors. Enjoy!
5-6 cups watermelon (cut into ½ inch cubes)
½ large English cucumber
¼ large red onion, sliced paper thin
1 jalapeno, finely diced (seeds removed)
¼ cup white balsamic or champagne vinegar
3 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP honey
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp fresh cracked pepper
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup fresh mint, finely chopped
Arugula for serving
1. Place the diced watermelon in a colander over a bowl and keep chilled in the fridge while preparing the rest of the salad. This will drain the excess juice from the watermelon, preventing the salad from drowning in juice.*
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper.
3. Wash the cucumber, leaving the skin on, cut in half lengthwise. Cut each half into thin pieces (makes about 1 heaping cup).
4. Add the cucumber, along with the red onion and jalapeno to the vinegar mixture and let sit for 30 minutes (quick pickling method), and up to overnight in the fridge.
5. To prepare the salad, remove the watermelon from the colander into a large bowl. Toss the picked mixture into the watermelon. Gently toss in the feta and the mint.
6. Serve the salad over a bed of arugula.
* Keep the excess watermelon juice in the fridge for a refreshing treat after a hard training session, or try adding to a smoothie.
Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif., and the co-founder of Harmony Bar. A former professional XTERRA triathlete, Cerra now races for Twenty16 Women’s Professional Cycling Team.