Vegan feta and watermelon salad is almost too pretty to eat, and is extra refreshing with the addition of cucumber and a hint of mint. Who first thought of putting watermelon and feta together in a salad? It’s one of those combinations that seems odd at first, but is actually genius.
A great vegan feta: For this recipe, I use Violife® Just Like Feta, which, to my palate tastes like goat cheese, at least how I remember it from before I went vegan — smooth and creamy, with a subtle fermented bite.
This simple combination is so tasty, and pairing watermelon with cucumber in any way is super hydrating. Make sure all the ingredients are well chilled before prepping. If you can’t find a good vegan feta, you’ll find a simple formula for making your own tofu feta following the recipe box.
Complete the meal: I like to serve this as a first course so the subtle flavors can be fully appreciated, but you can serve it right alongside your main dish. This salad is a fantastic foil to grilled vegetables and plant protein. It’s also good teamed with vegan burgers and corn on the cob for an easy summer dinner.
Make your own Tofu “Feta”
While this isn’t quite of an OMG as the Violife© Feta I used in this salad, it’s still quite good! All you need is:
- 7 to 8 ounces extra-firm or super-firm tofu (about half of a 14-ounce tub)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 If you have a tofu press, use it ahead of time to extract water from the tofu. Even an hour will do nicely. Otherwise, slice the tofu into 4 slabs crosswise. Blot between layers of paper towel or clean tea towels until you get out as much moisture as you can.
2 Cut the slabs into 1/4 inch dice. Place in a shallow container and toss with the lemon juice and oil. Let stand for 30 minutes to an hour. Drain off any liquid that may form, then use as directed in the recipe.
Why is watermelon good for you? Watermelon is so sweet and juicy at the height of its season (midsummer), a fruit worth having often while it’s available and at its best.
Packed with vitamins A and C, it’s also rich in antioxidants, especially lycopene, the compound that, like in tomatoes, give it that bright reddish-pink color.
In addition, watermelon is, not surprisingly, incredibly hydrating. Here’s a full rundown of watermelon’s nutrient values and benefits.
About seedless watermelon: You may have noticed in the past few years that seedless watermelon has become predominant. Though it isn’t a GMO food, it has been bred to produce less seeds with three sets of genes rather than two.
The result is less time spent seeding (or spitting), making watermelon ever more practical for using in recipes and blending. There’s a myth that seedless watermelons are less sweet, which simply isn’t true.
- 2 to 3 big handfuls of baby arugula or mixed greens
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- A splash of lemon or lime juice
- 3 heaping cups diced seedless watermelon
- 1/2 medium cucumber, quartered and sliced (or 1 Kirby cucumber, sliced)
- 4 ounces vegan feta such as Violife®, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- A few sliced mint or basil leaves
- Handful of toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- Combine the arugula in a mixing bowl with the olive oil and lemon juice and toss together. Transfer to a serving platter and spread evenly.
- In the same mixing bowl, combine the watermelon, cucumber, and vegan feta and toss together gently.
- Mound the watermelon mixture over the greens. Scatter the fresh mint over the top. If you'd like, top with some toasted seeds for extra crunch.
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