Melon and Cucumber Salad with Feta, Black Pepper, and Mint


While honeydew is usually the backbone of fruit salads, it can also shine in savory recipes, like this one with crunchy cucumber, feta cheese, and mint. The lemon-and–olive oil dressing has lots of black pepper to temper the melon’s sweetness. Pair this salad with grilled meats or toss it into the picnic basket next to a couple of Ham and Camembert Baguette Sandwiches.

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (from about 1 medium lemon)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds honeydew melon (about 1/2 medium melon), large dice
12 ounces pickling cucumbers, such as Kirby (about 3 medium), medium dice
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)

Place the lemon zest and juice, measured pepper, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. While whisking continuously, add the oil in a slow, steady stream until it’s fully incorporated.
Add the melon, cucumber, and mint and toss to combine. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill until the flavors meld, at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the salad to a serving platter, leaving any liquid in the bowl behind. Top with the feta and season with more pepper.