The dog days of summer are here, and that pretty much means one thing: the dial on my oven is staying firmly in the “OFF” position.
Hot, sweaty mess just isn’t a good look on me. Go figure.
So I’m currently doing everything in my power to stay cool, calm, and collected. Including consuming copious amounts of hydrating salads, like these watermelon, cucumber and feta mason jar salads. They are a requirement for those days when even just the thought of cooking is enough to cause you to perspire profusely.
On most hot days, I could literally just sit down with a half a watermelon in my lap and go to town on it. No need for slicing or dicing. And I certainly don’t require a plate or a bowl. Just hand me a big spoon and I’m perfectly content to chip away at that watermelon until only the rind remains.
But sometimes, it’s nice to be a little bit fancier. My preferred method for eating watermelon isn’t particularly attractive at parties or cookouts (or anywhere where other people can see me). So for those occasions, I have this watermelon, cucumber and feta mason jar salad recipe in my back pocket.
The combination of watermelon plus feta cheese is a classic one, which I then bulked up with some sliced cucumbers and a slightly spicy dressing made of lime juice, honey and diced jalapeño peppers. I also added in some fresh basil leaves, since they are so abundant right now. Although fresh mint leaves would also be a fantastic choice for this recipe.
Since summer is all about getting outside and enjoying these long days, I decided to make these salads completely portable. Just layer all the ingredients in 12-16 ounce re-sealable jars, and stash them in your cooler for later. They are perfect to take to the pool, beach or with you on a long car ride. Being on-the-go doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice healthy eating!
For the Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon finely diced jalapeño pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Salad:
- 4 cups cubed watermelon
- 2 cups sliced cucumbers
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves torn
- In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Then spoon 1 tablespoon into each of 4 mason jars (12-16 ounce jars work best) with re-sealable lids.
- Add 1 cup of watermelon, 1/2 cup cucumbers, 1 tablespoon feta cheese and 1 tablespoon basil to each jar. Place the lids on the jars and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat. Or toss in your cooler for on-to-go eating.
- To serve, invert the jars several times to distribute the dressing. Or dump the contents out into a medium bowl, tossing gently to combine. Enjoy immediately.