Foodie Friday: Watermelon Feta Salad from the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Happy Foodie Friday Folks!  With the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival opening in just a few days, I couldn’t resist sharing a recipe from last year that’s being brought back in 2015!  This dish says “spring!” in every bite….

Watermelon Feta Salad from the Florida Fresh Booth. Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

Watermelon Feta Salad from the Florida Fresh Booth. Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

Watermelon Feta Salad with Pickled Onions

This salad was a “Try It” item at last year’s Florida Fresh booth, and folks must have loved it (I know I did!) because it’s back on the marketplace booth’s menu this year!  I loved this booth, which did a super job of showcasing local, farm fresh, Florida produce and seafood.

I ordered almost everything on the menu, but this is the one dish I’ve been able to replicate at home – and it’s a hit on the dinner table whether you’re entertaining or just looking for a light supper side for your family!

The salad is based on arugula for a slightly peppery zing, topped with juicy watermelon, tangy pickled onions, salty feta, and tossed a sweet yet savory vinaigrette.  The flavor combination is a bit unexpected but works so well together and the colors are amazing!

Make sure to get your passport stamped! Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

Make sure to get your passport stamped! Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

If you’re heading to the festival, I hope you do try it – it’s incredibly refreshing on a hot Florida day.  If you can’t make it to the festival this year, try it at home with this recipe:

Ingredients

Vinaigrette
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons finely diced shallots
2 tablespoons roasted garlic
2 tablespoons liquid honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pickled Onions
1/2 cup fresh (or thawed frozen) raspberries
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons grenadine syrup
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 pound red onions, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rings

Balsamic Glaze
2 cups balsamic vinegar

Salad
4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
3 cups baby arugula
1/4 cup white balsamic vinaigrette
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup pickled onion
1/4 cup balsamic glaze
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

Vinaigrette

Combine all ingredients except olive oil, salt and pepper in a blender. Blend until well combined.

With blender running, slowly drizzle in olive oil, blending until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pickled Onions

Purée raspberries in a food processor. Pour purée through a fine-mesh sieve, discard seeds.

Combine raspberry purée, water, sugar, grenadine, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar.

Add onions; stir to coat, then remove from heat. Set aside for at least 20 minutes.

Balsamic Glaze

Simmer vinegar over medium high heat for about 40 minutes until reduced to 1/4 cup.

Salad

Toss arugula with white balsamic vinaigrette in a medium bowl and lightly season with salt & pepper, then divide among 4 plates.

Top each portion of arugula with watermelon, 2 to 3 picked onion rings, then sprinkle with feta, and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Want more Flower and Garden Festival Information? Check out the Spring issue of WDW Magazine. It’s got a nice article about all the happenings.

Kermit and Miss Piggy wave hello! Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

Kermit and Miss Piggy wave hello! Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

What menu item are you most looking forward to at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival in 2015?

Comments 1

  1. Pingback: Foodie Friday: 4th of July BBQ Roundup - Dad Guide to WDW - The Blog

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