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Recipe: Watermelon, Tomato and Herb Salad With Feta

A great summer salad, perfect for picnics and cookouts

A bowl of watermelon salad with feta cheese, herbs and sliced almonds

This refreshing salad is perfect for picnics and cookouts. It takes advantage of two of summer’s best produce options — watermelon and tomatoes! Served with fresh herbs, red wine vinegar, sliced almonds and feta cheese, the unlikely combination is full of flavor and low in calories.

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Ingredients

  • 6 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 4 cups fresh tomatoes, cubed
  • 1 tsp coarse salt (such as kosher salt or sea salt)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese

Directions

  1. Combine watermelon, tomatoes and salt. Toss to blend. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, olive oil and basil. Mix together, then pour over the watermelon and tomato mixture.
  3. Top with sliced almonds and feta cheese.
  4. Serve chilled.

Ingredient health benefits

  • Watermelon: Though hydration may be the first thing that comes to mind, watermelons have a lot of other benefits to offer! They’re full of antioxidants that protect your cells from damaging inflammation and free radicals, and a natural compound called lycopene may protect against heart disease and sunburns. Watermelons are also a source of vitamin A and vitamin C for healthy eyes and strong immunity, as well as polyphenols that support your gut.
  • Tomatoes: These ordinary members of the nightshade family have a few nutrients in common with watermelons, but they also have their own perks to bring to the salad bowl. Tomatoes are loaded with vitamins C and K, which promote a thriving immune system and strong bones. Heart-helpful potassium may help to regulate your blood pressure. And our friend lycopene might reduce your risk of cancer, along with the antioxidant beta-carotene.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: This oil has been on the scene for thousands of years, and while we may not bathe ourselves in it like the Romans did (no, seriously, look it up!), it’s still proven useful in the world of today. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) helps your heart with unsaturated fats that lower your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol while raising your “good” (HDL) cholesterol. It also has antioxidants that help decrease inflammation and may help reduce your risk of cancer. And to top it off, EVOO is rich in polyphenols, fat-soluble vitamins (like vitamin D) and polyphenols for good health from head to toe.
  • Basil: Some herbs can do more than enhance the flavor of a dish. Basil is full of vitamin K and antioxidants to keep your cells in top shape. As part of your everyday meals and snacks, this flavorful leaf can also promote brain health and mental health by helping boost your mood and decrease your anxiety levels.
  • Almonds: There are a lot of perks packed into each hard shell. For starters, almonds are a surprising way to snag some bone-building calcium. There are also flavonoids and vitamin E, antioxidants that support your heart, brain and skin. But it doesn’t end there! Almonds are also a good source of unsaturated fats that boost their heart-helpful properties, something your ticker will thank you for.
  • Cheese: It’s a well-known fact that cheese has calcium, but cheese doesn’t only benefit your bones. Casein and whey, the most prominent proteins in this delectable dairy product, also strengthen your muscles and help wounds heal faster. And you can count on vitamin B12, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3s) and selenium to have your back (as well as your brain, thyroid and eyes, in the more literal sense).

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Nutrition information (per serving)

Servings = 6


Calories: 160
Total fat: 10 g
Saturated fat: 1.5 g
Trans fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Sodium: 250 mg
Total carbohydrate: 19 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 16 g
Protein: 3 g

Contributors: Digestive Disease Health team dietitians.

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