This beautiful, salty-sweet summer salad is perfect for delighting party guests.

Julia Levy

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Credit: Victor Protasio

Recipe Summary

hands-on:
30 mins
total:
2 hrs 30 mins
Servings:
8
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It's time to return to the glory of pickled watermelon rind, and this is the recipe to help you do it. After cutting the rind off the fruit, you'll quick-pickle it in a chili-spiked mixture. Once pickled, the rind offers tart balance to sweet watermelon cubes and rich, whipped feta. Serve topped with peppery arugula and a confetti of chopped salted pistachios. It's an elegant, pretty dish that's worthy of special occasions. P.S. The whipped feta is good enough to make again on its own. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and veggies or breadsticks for dipping. P.P.S. If the pickled watermelon rind is a bridge too far, skip it. The salad will still be amazing.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Remove outer green rind from watermelon with a vegetable peeler; discard. Trim off ends. With watermelon standing upright, carefully cut white rind away from flesh. Place watermelon in a bowl or plate to avoid drips; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

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  • Chop white rind into 1/2-inch cubes. Stir vinegar, 1 cup water, sugar, kosher salt, mustard seeds, crushed red pepper, and black pepper in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high; boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add rind cubes. Let stand at room temperature, uncovered, for 1 hour. Refrigerate in liquid for 1 hour. (Pickled rind may be refrigerated in pickling liquid for up to 2 weeks.)

  • Meanwhile, process feta, yogurt, and whipping cream in a food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add lemon juice; process until combined, about 15 seconds. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 3 days).

  • Quarter whole watermelon lengthwise and cut into slices. Spread whipped feta onto a large platter. Top with watermelon slices and arugula. Sprinkle with pistachios, desired amount of pickled rind, flaky sea salt, and black pepper. Drizzle with oil.

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