Meatless Monday–Watermelon and Arugula Salad

This salad will surely be a summer staple from now on.  I initially chose it because it has watermelon (Who doesn’t love watermelon?) and made it on a day I had plans to go out for a big dinner.  It was the perfect light, refreshing, satisfying but not filling, salad.  And let me tell you, the simple list of ingredients really compliment each other.  I’m not one to get too overly excited about arugula, but it really is key here.  Its peppery bite perfectly rounds out the sweet watermelon, nutty cheese, and tangy lemon.  In short, this salad is wonderful just the way it is; I think this is one of those rare recipes I wouldn’t change a bit.

watermelon arugula salad

Watermelon and Arugula Salad

from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That?


1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 c. freshly-squeezed lemon juice (from 2 medium lemons)

1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste

1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1/2 lb. baby arugula leaves

2 lb. seedless watermelon, 3/4 in. dice (3 lb. melon with rind)

1/2 lb. chunk Parmesan cheese


1.  In a small bowl or jar, whisk or shake together oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

2.  In a large bowl, toss arugula with just enough dressing (I used about half).  Divide greens among six plates and add watermelon pieces.  Shave Parmesan into large shards and place over salad.  Sprinkle with desired amount of salt and pepper and serve.

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  1. the wicked noodle
    June 4, 2012 / 12:53 pm

    I love the sound of this salad! Sweet watermelon with peppery arugula sounds amazing!

  2. That Girl
    June 4, 2012 / 3:19 pm

    I love watermelon in salad. I like mine with feta – a mix of the salty and sweet.

  3. Joanne
    June 5, 2012 / 11:24 am

    I've been seeing so many fun ways to put watermelon into savory dishes lately and this might be my favorite yet!

  4. Claris Leigh
    June 9, 2012 / 9:08 pm

    watermelon has definitely been in my kitchen lately, perfect for summer time! this recipe looks so good, especially after a long hot

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