Recipe Review

Martha Stewart’s Watermelon Salad Is So Easy That It Practically Makes Itself

published Jun 22, 2022
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A graphic of Martha Stewart and her watermelon salad recipe
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne; Headshot: Getty Images

When I was poking around the corners of the internet in search of four contenders to enter our watermelon salad showdown, I wanted to ensure that there was one classic recipe in the mix. 

In what is probably not a shock to you, Martha was able to help me in my search. With its short ingredient list and even shorter method, her watermelon salad with feta and basil was the perfect choice for the simple watermelon salad. When it comes to this summery side, is less more? There was only one way to find out.

Get the recipe: Martha’s Watermelon Salad with Feta and Basil

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne; Headshot: Getty Images

How to Make Martha Stewart’s Watermelon Salad with Feta and Basil

This is the kind of summer side that you can truly make with your eyes closed. In a large bowl, mix cubed, seedless watermelon, fresh lime juice, and a handful of thinly sliced fresh basil. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide the salad among plates (or put it in a shallow platter) and top with crumbled feta and another fistful of fresh basil. See? You blink and it’s ready to go.

My Honest Review of Martha Stewart’s Watermelon Salad with Feta and Basil

I really liked this salad. As somebody who has a tendency to add more ingredients and take the more convoluted route in the kitchen, this was a great reminder that when it comes to fresh, summertime produce, you really don’t need to do much to make something delicious. A majority of watermelon salad recipes call for fresh mint, but I really loved the basil in this one. 

My favorite choice that Martha makes with this salad is waiting to crumble the feta on top of the salad, rather than mixing it in. I personally find that mixing feta into a salad coats all the components with a subtle, white, gritty film. It tastes fine, but aesthetically, I think the salad looks much better when the cheese is crumbled on top. Not a huge difference, but I appreciate that Martha was keeping an eye out for the visuals (per usual).

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne

If I Were to Make Martha Stewart’s Watermelon Salad with Feta and Basil Again

There are certainly a bunch of ingredients that you could add to this salad (as evidenced by the other contenders in the watermelon salad showdown), but I don’t think any are absolutely necessary. Sure, I missed an allium component (i.e., red or sweet onions), but the salad was still tasty without that. The most noticeable thing missing from this salad was olive oil. The fresh lime juice added the perfect amount of bright acidity, but I would have loved a bit of fat to tie everything together.

If it were up to me, I’d definitely mix the lime juice with some olive oil and drizzle that over the whole salad. I don’t want my watermelon to be oil-slicked, but a little glug of EVOO never hurt anyone, right? 

Overall rating: 8/10